[Air-L] Electronic Tribes

Mathieu ONeil mathieu.oneil at anu.edu.au
Thu Jan 10 02:09:32 PST 2013

The tribal metaphor has been popular since the counter-culture of the 1960s as a reaction against technocracy / industrial society. 

Re online tribes, I was inspired by "pomo" sociologist Michel Maffesoli and his concept of neo-tribalism on the one hand and by 1970s radical anthropologist Pierre Clastres and his ideas around non-leadership in amazonian tribes (?) on the other to use the term - a bit later than Jeremy says though ;-)

First in a collection edited by Ty Adams, Electronic Tribes (U of Texas Press) I wrote about people who actually want to return to their understanding of a "tribal", non-industrial way of life, i.e. primitivists, yet they have websites etc.

Then I wrote a book about leadership/authority in anti-authoritarian online environments such as FLOSS, blogs, wikis called Cyberchiefs (Pluto Press). Tribes as stateless and anti-authoritarian forms of collective organisation. 

However I have found that the term is ambiguous and evokes very strong reactions from anthropologists for a variety of reasons so I now only use sociological / org science terminology to analyse online forms of organisation.



On 01/10/13, Jeremy hunsinger  <jhunsinger at wlu.ca> wrote:
> I've used the sociological literature by Zymunt Bauman and others to
> talk about tribes and neo-tribes in online environments in a
> forthcoming book, but that is a very specific argument about
> governance that I'm making, but I think both tribes and neo-tribes
> were fairly well known concepts to be applied in cyberculture in the
> mid '90s to early 2000's then they fell out of favor.
> _______________________________________________
> The Air-L at listserv.aoir.org mailing list
> is provided by the Association of Internet Researchers http://aoir.org
> Subscribe, change options or unsubscribe at: http://listserv.aoir.org/listinfo.cgi/air-l-aoir.org
> Join the Association of Internet Researchers:
> http://www.aoir.org/

More information about the Air-L mailing list