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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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.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 ?
He said Sir Seretse Khama was vocal in his opposition to tribalistic bigotry.
This can only provide more space for the brutal worldview of religious fanatics, ethno-nationalists and tribalistic bigots - who we can already see ascendant in global politics today.
Detailed studies such as these have not been done on Kuwait, however research has shown and been published on its own highly tribalistic, bifurcated society.
Mourinho, possibly more than when any of his other teams have succeeded, making this one all about him, being the arch-egotist, football people being inexplicably tribalistic. At times like this?
Yet, even we can succumb to the tribalistic "us vs.
They disdain normative preference for in-marriage, connections with Jewish friends and the Jewish State of Israel (with all its problems of intolerance and the occupation), or anything that seems tribalistic. Future research should examine instruments of Jewish education such as overnight camps, Israel travel, campus rabbis (particularly non-Orthodox, who are now found in small numbers), Jewish preschools, conversion opportunities (be they rabbinic or personal) and innovations for Jewish young adults such as Moishe Houses.
"By this statement, the SSDM/A is announcing that it shall from today join the struggle against the authoritarian tribalistic regime in Juba," the statement seen by Sudan Tribune reads in part.
The tribalistic taunt of the neighbours in the gloating chant "Are you watching, Newcastle?" reinforced the now obvious pride at being the first team in the North-east to bring back a trophy in over 30 years And the poignant, insistent chorus of "One Stevie Gibson" showed that the supporters of this club were very much aware that the Brave New World that beckons is chiefly down to the drive and vision of the uber-fan and chairman.
"But that's not who we are." We are not told why not, beyond this tribalistic assertion.
No one realistically goes about and says Switzerland should take sides in civil wars, or religion-inspired genocides, tribalistic disputes (or whatever).
By extolling a culture simply in virtue of being different, culturalists encourage pernicious forms of relativism and tribalistic habits of mind.