The word "tribalism" can refer to two related but distinct
The first is a social system where human society is divided into
roughly independent subgroups, called tribes.
Tribal societies lacked any organizational level beyond that of
the local tribe,
with each tribe consisting only of a very small, local population.
The internal 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
with few (if any) significant social distinctions between individuals.
Some tribes are particularly egalitarian,
and most tribes have only a vague notion of private property;
many have none at all.
A shared sense of identity and kinship encourages the development
of kin selection.
Tribalism has also been sometimes been called "primitive
but this is rather misleading since allegiance to a communist
state is not based on kin-selective altruism.
One thing that is certain is that tribalism is the very first
social system that human beings ever lived in,
and it has lasted much longer than any other kind of society to
The other concept to which the word "tribalism" frequently
is the possession of a strong cultural or ethnic identity
that separates oneself as a member of one group from the members
This phenomenon is related to the concept of tribal society
in that it is a precondition for members of a tribe to possess
a strong feeling
of identity for a true tribal society to form.
The distinction between these two definitions for tribalism is
an important one because,
while tribal society no longer strictly exists in the western
by this second definition, is arguably undiminished.
People have postulated that the human brain is hard-wired
towards tribalism due to its evolutionary advantages.
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