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Tribalism is a way of thinking or behaving in which people are more loyal to their tribe than to their friends, their country, or any other social group.[1]

The social structure of a tribe can vary greatly from case to case, but, due to the small size of tribes, it is always a relatively simple role structure, with few (if any) significant social distinctions between individuals.[2]

Tribalism infers the possession of a strong cultural or ethnic identity that separates one member of a group from the members of another group. It is a precondition for members of a tribe to possess a strong feeling of identity for a true tribal society to form.[3] The distinction between these two definitions for tribalism is an important one because, while tribal society no longer strictly exists in the western world, tribalism, by this second definition, is arguably undiminished. People have postulated that the human brain is hard-wired towards tribalism due to its evolutionary advantages.[4][5] See Tribalism and evolution below.

  1. Definition of tribalism by Macmillan dictionary
  2. Max Gluckman (2007). "Social beliefs and individual Thinking in Tribal Society". In Robert A. Manners; David Kaplan (eds.). Anthropological Theory. Transaction Publishers. pp. 453–464. ISBN 978-0-202-36133-8.
  3. Kanakasena Dekā; Kanakasena Ḍekā (1993). Assam's Crisis: Myth & Reality. Mittal Publications. pp. 90. ISBN 978-81-7099-473-2.
  4. Erich Fromm; Michael MacCoby (1970). Social Character in a Mexican Village. Transaction Publishers. pp. xi. ISBN 978-1-56000-876-7.
  5. "STYLE SECRETS OF THE GANGS : The truth behind tribal fashion". MODE. shortlist.com. External link in |publisher=, |work= (help)