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It Takes a Tribe Summary

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“It Takes a Tribe” Summaries
One Sentence Summary: In “It Takes a Tribe,” David Berreby uses the spectacle of college students to show that humans have such a strong urge to belong and fit in that they will subconsciously form groups based on arbitrary criteria.

One Paragraph Summary: In “It Takes a Tribe,” David Berreby looks at the social constructs of colleges across the nation and their implications. From the point when a student is accepted into a college they almost immediately start to affiliate themselves with that college’s mannerisms and culture. But it goes farther than that, once they arrive the divisions grow more and more. Different majors and clubs have rivalries and even within majors there are divisions. Berreby goes on to explain that often students will rank the groups they’re part of higher than some racial groups in terms of having qualifications that define a group. Also, students will often use words that are associated with the college they attend to describe themselves. Furthermore, it seemed that groups that were more difficult to get into or required embarrassing acts to get into were ranked higher than those that weren’t difficult or didn’t require embarrassment to get into. Berreby cites Peter Richerson saying humans are “looking to be told what group they belong to, and then once they do that, they want to know, ‘What are the rules?’” Exemplifying that people want to belong above all else.

Abstract: Belonging is one of the most basic human needs. Take a look at any college campus and you will see exactly how much this influences a young adult’s behavior. New identities are forged across the country at universities, in elite groups, sororities and fraternities; even in particular majors and labs. Students will join the various “tribes” of college to feel a part of something and to satisfy their need to belong. Once they have...

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