Instaread Summary of Tribe On Homecoming and Belonging by Sebastian Junger
Five out of five stars
Given that human societies were tribal for hundreds of thousands of years before there were organized cities, it is natural to conclude that being part of a tribal social organization is a fundamental part of human psychology. The tribal society is much more egalitarian, with more sharing and striving for common betterment.
Junger uses the examples of societies at war as well as the alienation that returning veterans in the United States feel. They are a small minority of the population, leave and sacrifice and then come back to a society that largely ignores ignores them. Junger uses the example of Israel, the society that most closely resembles a tribal society in constant danger. Most Israelis serve in the military, so they come back to a society that generally understands their situation. Therefore, the level of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is much lower among Israeli veterans.
This summary contains a set of logical positions regarding the value of a feeling of belonging and how the lack of role and purpose can lead to psychological problems among veterans. Some of the examples used involve the people of the U. S. territory of Guam as well as Native Americans, referred to as American Indians in the book. This term was used at the insistence of one of the participants in the data gathering process.
The primary conclusion of the book is that the more tribal and egalitarian a society, the lower the level of severe psychological disorders such as depression and PTSD. This summary gives enough detailed explanation of the thesis of the book to convince all people with an interest in the topic that they will benefit from reading it.
This book was made available for free for review purposes.