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1. the state of existing as a separate tribe or tribes
2. the customs and beliefs of a tribal society
3. loyalty to a tribe or tribal values
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



in contemporary literature and in the political sphere, a concept that has a wide range of meanings: the surviving archaic institutions and organizations of clan and tribal societies; the archaic features in social development; the stage of relatively little ethnic differentiation; the mutual hostility of ethnic groups; the policy of ethnic chauvinism that grants advantages and privileges to an ethnic group as a whole or to some of its members; and the exploitation of ethnicity for political ends.

In the past as well as in the present, tribalism has been widely used by the colonialists in their efforts to hamper national liberation movements, and by the local forces of political reaction in their struggle for power. As interpreted by representatives of Africa’s progressive forces, the concept of tribalism is associated with all that is reactionary and damaging to national unity. The African progressives wage a firm struggle against all manifestations of tribalism and contrast it to the concept of “nation.”

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
In contrast to both the totalist and tribalist vision of the human, the biblical witness portrays humans as being constituted only in interactive relationships, as an act of grace and as gift of the others.
Picasso as the deconstructor and reconstructor, the bricoleur, the tribalist and innovator; Matisse as the realist, the seeker of a beautiful dream revealed in nature's appearances.
Saddam Hussein of Iraq, from a political science point of view, would better be identified as a criminal tribalist than as evil.
Pic is on firmer ground when simply observing a modern tribalist in action, such as body-piercing phenora Fakir Musafar, whose ultra-extreme punctures and distortions are documented by a visit to his workshop, which preaches finding inner awareness through the transcendence of pain.
The Orient is represented by Chiang Kai-Shek and Syngman Rhee; Latin America has given us Augusto Pinochet (of whose courage "National Observer" readers will need no reminding); while Moise Tshombe stands as a lone symbol of what black African leadership could effect before Communist famine and tribalist genocide swept all before them.
Of course, none of these developments helped Humoud Jabali, resolute modernist, reluctant tribalist. He sat out the election, convinced that the parliament was no longer a representative body.
If you want to understand him start with this fact: Pat Buchanan is a tribalist. He sees the world as a harsh place full of competing clans, in which one tribe can succeed only at the expense of another.
The dialectical framework is fairly clear: Jihad (generically defined) is the struggle, often nationalist or tribalist, against cultural and economic entropy, and McWorld ...
That person, that Nigerian leader needed now, is some non-religious fanatic, non tribalist, non ethnic cleanser, mentally and physically healthy person who is able to harness of all the rich endowments of this country, evenly, without any laws to be needed for him/her to do so!
"We need to be working with everybody we can because you can see what happens to a political party that becomes tribalist.
As long as we subscribe to a zero-sum fear-filled tribalist worldview of "us against them" we will fly flags for which we will kill and be killed.
2 Some saw the vote as an indication that the government had lost support among tribalist from the outer districts of Kuwait City, which are inhabited by generally less affluent, naturalized citizens.