Tribes & Identity

This course is interdisciplinary, a place where the student is encouraged to explore how cultural dimensions shape concepts of who we are: Self, and the tribes we bond with: Other. Westerners are moving from traditional tribal bonds to neo-tribes, groups that are co-created through attraction, affiliation bound by inventive and fluid rules and values. What are these unique groups? The disciplines of anthropology, history, sociology, psychology, language, and the environment act as windows to view this social change. Case studies featuring both neo and traditional tribalism are drawn from readings and chapters that outline how different ethnicities, genders, societies, economics, politics, and times influence identity. Students will research materials ending in a final project that tailors their learning. How does one’s belonging— shaped by sharing rituals, interests, class, ethnicities and intersectionality—create new ways of being?

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