The Time of the Tribes: The Decline of Individualism in Mass Society

In this provocative book, Michel Maffesoli explores the persistence and the centrality of an affective, solidary space of sociality that emerges from the small-group contexts of everyday life …  with fruitful questions for those studying civil society, community or “new social movements“‘.  In Maffesoli we encounter a social theorist pre-occupied with the emergence of new tribes and the need for a sociology of everyday life … the rise of a plethora of elective affinity groups (his tribes) he foreshadows the end of both the state and the individual as new communities are established within the interstices of complex societies. The work takes the form of an open essay which is accessible and immensely thought-provoking.  According to Maffesoli, the ambience of the postmodern era, its underlying paradox, is built upon the fundamental tension between massification and “groupism“. The break-up of mass culture has led to the development of fragmentizedlittle masses“. Maffesoli agrees that social existence is indeed alienated, subject to the penetrations of a multiform power; nevertheless, he argues eloquently that there are still remains an affirmative puissance that, despite everything, confirms the “ever-renewed game of solidarity and reciprocity”. Maffesloi’s book is one of the most important contributions to the discourse of cultural sociology to come on the scene.

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About Giorgio Bertini

Director at Learning Change Project - Research on society, culture, art, neuroscience, cognition, critical thinking, intelligence, creativity, autopoiesis, self-organization, rhizomes, complexity, systems, networks, leadership, sustainability, thinkers, futures ++
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