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When people have tried everything and have discovered that nothing works, they will tend to revert to what they know best—which will often be the tribe, the totem, or the taboo.
Christopher Hitchens

Tribalism is a way of being, or a set of attitudes, associated with living in a small group of closely related people, with an implied cultural and ethnic uniformity. Many traditional tribes have referred to themselves using an ethnonymWikipedia's W.svg meaning "people" or "human beings." Quite often they use less flattering language to describe groups of people outside the tribe.

In popular culture, tribalism connotes chauvinistic othering: the belief, or tendency to accept, that a group that includes you is superior or should be favored over other groups. Often this includes demonization of groups that are seen as opposed in some way, and a tendency to sympathize with people who share certain traits with you over those who do not.

While many in the Western world think tribalism is archaic it remains a vital force in people's lives throughout the world, governing social conduct, political and militia alliances, and women's rights.

Islamic culture[edit]

Tribalism through arranged marriages to hold land became accepted practice in many Islamic societies. Islamic law intensely governs personal relationships, and the concept of corporations never developed. In the Western world, the concept of MortmainWikipedia's W.svg developed to hold title for land held by churches whose stewardship passed to successive generations while ownership remained with the church. From this came the idea of a corporation, a collective perpetual entity with the legal rights of a person whose overseers hold fiduciaryWikipedia's W.svg responsibilites and not necessarily exclusive ownership rights. Under shariah no such corporate law exists other than rights to the holdings of mosques and religious property.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. The Absence of the Corporation in Islamic Law: Origins and Persistence, Timur Kuran, The American Journal of Comparative Law, Vol. 53, No. 4 (Fall, 2005), pp. 785-834.

External links[edit]