Neotribalism, also known as modern tribalism or new tribalism, is a sociological concept which postulates that human beings have evolved to live in tribal society, as opposed to mass society, and thus will naturally form social networks constituting new tribes.

Sociological theory

French sociologist Michel Maffesoli was perhaps the first to use the term neotribalism in a scholarly context in his 1988 book The Time of the Tribes. Maffesoli predicted that as the culture and institutions of modernism declined, societies would embrace nostalgia and look to the organizational principles of the distant past for guidance, and that therefore the post-modern era would be the era of neotribalism.[1]

Work by researchers such as American political scientist Robert D. Putnam and a 2006 study by McPherson, Smith-Lovin and Brasiers published in the American Sociological Review seem to support at least the more moderate neotribalist arguments.[2]

The notion of neotribalism is used in the field of consumer research under the label consumer tribes.[3]

See also


  1. ^ Maffesoli, Michel (1996). The Time of the Tribes: The Decline of Individualism in Mass Society. London: Sage.
  2. ^ McPherson, M.; Smith-Lovin, L.; Brashears, M. E. (2006). "Social Isolation in America: Changes in Core Discussion Networks over Two Decades". American Sociological Review. 71 (3): 353–75. doi:10.1177/000312240607100301. S2CID 8164074.
  3. ^ Diaz Ruiz, Carlos A.; Penaloza, Lisa; Holmqvist, Jonas (January 1, 2020). "Assembling tribes: An assemblage thinking approach to the dynamics of ephemerality within consumer tribes". European Journal of Marketing. 54 (5): 999–1024. doi:10.1108/EJM-08-2018-0565. S2CID 216399732 – via Emerald Insight.