Jacqueline Roggenbrodt / AP

Today’s Issue:

  • Are human beings inherently tribal? In the wake of the U.S. midterms, it’s a good day to revisit the question.
  • In today’s issue, we’ll recap the argument over tribalism, or the human need to belong to exclusive groups. And we asked scholars to outline some of the most pressing questions in the field.
  • The next step requires your participation! Take the “Hidden Tribes” quiz and report back. Details below.

What We Know About Tribalism

By Caroline Kitchener

In The Atlantic’s newsroom, we’ve been talking a lot about political tribalism: how to define it, and how it affects the current state of American politics. The results of Tuesday’s midterm elections put American divisions front and center. But is tribalism a cause or a consequence of those divisions? Does subdividing the country into political tribes weaken those divisions, or harden them? In this issue, we’re kicking off an effort to come to grips with the idea of tribalism.

To access this story, become a member

Sign up for our brand-new membership program, The Masthead, and you’ll not only receive exclusive content you can’t find anywhere else—you’ll also help fund a sustainable future for journalism.

Find Out More

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.