In his thoughtful Together: The rituals, pleasures and politics of co-operation, Richard Sennett argues there are ways to overcome ingrained tribalism
RICHARD SENNETT'S Together is the second in a planned trilogy of books about "the skills people need to sustain everyday life". The first instalment, The Craftsman, proposed and explored the notion of an innate human impulse to do things well. Together is about the craftsmanship of cooperation.
Sennett, a sociologist, worries that humans suffer from a deeply ingrained tribalism that "couples solidarity with others like yourself to aggression against those who differ". He is alarmed by the way societies develop tribalism within their ranks. The US has become "an intensely tribal society", he says, noting that "tribalism, in the form of nationalism, destroyed Europe during the first half of the twentieth century". Today, he warns, the once inclusive Netherlands "has its version of American talk radio, where the mere mention of the word 'Muslim' triggers a Wagnerian onslaught of complaints". Read More