A Quick Take on "Tribes"

Introduced: June 07 2012


Based on an IWD member’s comment on the blending of America and the potential disappearance of our cultural “tribes"... this week’s Weigh-In asks you to think about what “tribe” you identify with and how does it influence you? Are you influenced most by your race, your religion, your region of the country, your socio-economic group, your profession or career, or...???


Note From IWD: "Weigh-Ins" are no longer an active feature on IWD. Our members expressed a preference for longer dialogues. The content of the previous Weigh-Ins remains on the site for your enjoyment and enlightenment. 





Member Responses


Among those who responded, here are the tribes you said influence you, beginning with the one named most:


Socio-economic group






Region of the country -- tied with profession or career


Ethnic origins


Location – urban or rural


Other comments:

"I wish my family had kept our ancestors' culture alive. (Sweden) But we were caught up in being "American."


"I answered 'socio-economic group' because if you are still in the basic socio-economic group in which you were born -- your habits and attitudes are largely formed by that experience. It has given you most of your opportunities -- and perhaps has influenced you in ways you don't even realize. "


"As you pointed out, 'tribes' can have many meanings, as can 'blending.' Blending among different races is definitely taking place. I read that among the population of students currently in college, this is the largest group of mixed race ever among that age group, and one in seven new marriages is between spouses of different races or ethnicities."


"I know that the comment made (by Member 031 on June 7) focused mostly on 'tribes' from a cultural, ethnic-heritage point of view – but when IWD asked it in a broader way, I found that very interesting. How MANY groups influence who we are?! There so many categories – you are short or tall, a morning person or a night person, athletic or not, a fancy eater or a plain eater, a believer in global warming or a skeptic, an animal lover or not, a Republican or Democrat, a college graduate or not, etc. With a broad swipe, we belong to a very large tribe. But the more we slice and dice the more unique we become. So if we just say we are a certain race or our ancestors are from a certain country, we belong to a very large tribe. But if we are an athletic, brown-eyed, animal loving, rap-disliking vegetarian who graduated from college and now lives in Minnesota and votes Republican, we become almost unique."


"There was a lot of publicity around the U.S. Census Bureau report which found that, for the first time, more minority babies were born in the United States than white babies. But what didn’t get as much publicity was a Rew Research Center study that found that Asians are now the largest group of new immigrants to the United States, overtaking Hispanics."


Note from IWD: To read more about this report, use this link: http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2012/06/19/the-rise-of-asian-americans/