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Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging

av Sebastian Junger

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
8123119,584 (3.79)24
Decades before the American Revolution, Benjamin Franklin lamented that English settlers were constantly fleeing over to the Indians -- but Indians almost never did the same. Tribal society has been exerting an almost gravitational pull on Westerners for hundreds of years, and the reason lies deep in our evolutionary past as a communal species. The most recent example of that attraction is combat veterans who come home to find themselves missing the incredibly intimate bonds of platoon life. The loss of closeness that comes at the end of deployment may help explain the high rates of post-traumatic stress disorder suffered by military veterans today. Combining history, psychology, and anthropology, TRIBE explores what we can learn from tribal societies about loyalty, belonging, and the eternal human quest for meaning. It explains the irony that -- for many veterans as well as civilians -- war feels better than peace, adversity can turn out to be a blessing, and disasters are sometimes remembered more fondly than weddings or tropical vacations. TRIBE explains why we are stronger when we come together, and how that can be achieved even in today's divided world.… (mer)
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» Se även 24 omnämnanden

Visa 1-5 av 31 (nästa | visa alla)
This book dropped my jaw again and again, and not in a good way. The author does a very superficial job of interrogating his beliefs and practices lots of confirmation bias while at the same time refuting his own opinions and theories in the next chapter because he apparently can't be bothered to keep track of things. What really, really angers me about this book is that there are interesting moments, where the author shares facts and insight from field professionals. Then he gets distracted by a pet theory, bulks it up with mental leaps, and sputters off into the abyss.

The author adores the noble savage myths, lumps a diverse group of people with diverse beliefs and practices under the name "American Indians" and treats them as interchangeable for the first ~1/2 of the book, refers to them as a Stone Age society, despite what we know about their advance governments, city designing, and agricultural accomplishments, and fails to acknowledge the role of racism in his tales. Also: pet peeve. Why does he spell Lakotah with an "h?" I honest to God googled it. My first hand experience with Lakota individuals is short, but I stood in probably 8 community buildings, spoke with 100s of Lakota individuals and read dozens of signs, and not a single one included an "h" in the spelling. My google search seems to agree based on a search of Lakota Nation. I trust them more than the author.

He makes mental leaps about the differences between men and women, despite our now established recognition that assigning behaviors by gender isn't backed up by science, and much of what we consider gender divides are actually due to long trained societal norms, not differences set in stone by genetic differences. He is so deep in his white male power fantasies about the tribe that he doesn't even catch himself when he makes claims about "Stone Age" societies not having a hierarchy because all the men come together to shun the badly behaving men, not just the leader. The men. Men. Men only. Do you know why that is men only? Because in most societies ("Stone Age" or not) they are hierarchical along lines of gender. If all you see is men, then you're not seeing the vast majority of society, including women, children of any gender, and non-binary people. If you can't see the hierarchy because you only study the top strata, you're doing a shit job of researching. (Just today my mother was horrified that I tried to stop and help someone with vehicle issues, because as a woman that could get me killed or raped, whereas for men that's far less likely, and they never get talks like "never leave your drink alone" which leaves us female types potently aware of how dangerous everyday life is. That is, IMHO, 99% of the reason you don't see women helping with physical things. Because it's mostly strangers and it puts us at risk. Does the author interrogate why women help in one way and men in another? No, he's too busy buying into the gender role binary and skipping on.)

The author claims he thought referencing throughout the text would be distracting, as such, he often presents his opinions and mental math as facts. There were places where I knew he was using superficial knowledge and that a more thorough reading of the text I suspected he was building off of would unravel his theory. Hard to search out what document he was using because he failed to drop a tiny little digit down to allow fact checking against any references. He also, at least twice, spends a chapter arguing something, and then in the next chapter skims over a comment or statement that completely unravels his entire argument. Sloppy. Lazy. Confirmation bias all over the place. Just an absolute disappointment because I think the topic is interesting and he mostly did a poor job discussing the military and American Indian groups. (No comment on whether that should be the properly used term, as he decided it is thanks to that one person he spoke to, and he clearly believes groups are a monolith.)

Overall, a huge disappointment. ( )
  lclclauren | Sep 12, 2020 |
Really enjoyed this, a good tight book which covers the subject well. Reminded me a lot of Johann Hari's Lost Connections with similar conclusions on how modern Western society is disrupting our natural behaviours and causing significant mental damage. ( )
  arewenotben | Jul 31, 2020 |
Man, the misogyny is strong in this guy. I can't fully rate this book because, as Junger points out, he doesn't footnote his work. So instead he just grabs statistics from the air about society, rampage killing, anything he wants, and makes up categories as if he were an authority. Not footnoting is fine if you're making a work of fiction, but when you make claims about people it is safer to give an inkling of where you got your crazy theories.

I suspect this is loved evo devo fans, as he blatantly tosses all activities into a blanket male/female division, men are from Mars and women from venus don'cha know. The best blather is saved for how people blossom in war, because he met some people who miss it and lists stats that confirm it (though we're not privy to where he got them, it's 60% sure that he picked the right stats to support his theories) . I guess I can rethink the holocaust, because you just know those camp inmates were actually blossoming and flourishing in their small social communities. And you know, I'll bet he's right that not one camp inmate complained about lack of meaning in their life, quite possibly because they were concerned about where their next tidbit of food was going to come from, let alone... well, everything else, because food was pretty much it, the meaning of life . If only they knew that camp days were the best days evah and will probably miss those good old concentration camp days for the rest of their lives.

The wealthy society privilege rating on this book is very high. ( )
  marshapetry | Jun 17, 2020 |
The basic premise of the book is that humans are wired for having roles in a tightly knit group (tribe) and modern society is not providing it for us. The author also makes the case that hardships paradoxically give people the sense of meaning and comradership that peaceful and prosperous times don't. I agree with him on both fronts (pun intended) but I just wished the book had more scientific backing and/or a chapter on finding substitutes for that gap without having to go fight in a war. ( )
  parzivalTheVirtual | Mar 22, 2020 |
I understand the general premise of why Junger may have written this book. Unfortunately, it wasn't enlightening and I found it a bit obscurantist. It felt unfinished and missing a lot of the systems in place that make the yearning for a modern, civilian tribalism so difficult in the U.S. ( )
  postsbygina | Feb 2, 2020 |
Visa 1-5 av 31 (nästa | visa alla)
Despite its occasionally despairing tone, Tribe is a stirring clarion call for a return to solidarity. In advocating a public, shared confrontation with the psychic scars of war, Junger aims to stop trauma burning a hole through individual veterans. Such a collective catharsis might also be our best hope of healing the wounds modern society has inflicted on itself.
tillagd av melmore | ändraThe Guardian, Matthew Green (Jun 22, 2016)
 
Junger argues persuasively that postcombat psychological problems must be understood as a problem of reintegrating to society on such terms, at least as much as they are due to the trauma of war. Post-traumatic stress disorder is a medical term for a cultural problem: the basic impossibility of digesting the experience of combat as an isolated individual among other isolated individuals, each devoted to pursuing his or her private interests. There is no tribe. To risk one’s life for the common good is to declare oneself outside this cultural logic of acquisitive individualism; the veteran is an outsider to us by definition, and no amount of yellow ribbons can change that fact.
 
Mr. Junger’s premise is simple: Modern civilization may be swell, giving us unimaginable autonomy and material bounty. But it has also deprived us of the psychologically invaluable sense of community and interdependence that we hominids enjoyed for millions of years. It is only during moments of great adversity that we come together and enjoy that kind of fellowship — which may explain why, paradoxically, we thrive during those moments. (In the six months after Sept. 11, Mr. Junger writes, the murder rate in New York dropped by 40 percent, and the suicide rate by 20 percent.)
 
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This book is dedicated to my brothers, John, Emory, and Chief
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Perhaps the single most startling fact about America is that, alone among the modern nations that have become world powers, it did so while butted up agains three thousand miles of howling wilderness populated by Stone-Age tribes.
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Decades before the American Revolution, Benjamin Franklin lamented that English settlers were constantly fleeing over to the Indians -- but Indians almost never did the same. Tribal society has been exerting an almost gravitational pull on Westerners for hundreds of years, and the reason lies deep in our evolutionary past as a communal species. The most recent example of that attraction is combat veterans who come home to find themselves missing the incredibly intimate bonds of platoon life. The loss of closeness that comes at the end of deployment may help explain the high rates of post-traumatic stress disorder suffered by military veterans today. Combining history, psychology, and anthropology, TRIBE explores what we can learn from tribal societies about loyalty, belonging, and the eternal human quest for meaning. It explains the irony that -- for many veterans as well as civilians -- war feels better than peace, adversity can turn out to be a blessing, and disasters are sometimes remembered more fondly than weddings or tropical vacations. TRIBE explains why we are stronger when we come together, and how that can be achieved even in today's divided world.

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