English teachers often challenge students to invest time and thought into their essays. We make handouts, write notes in the margin of essays, give pep talks, and repeatedly suggest to students the need to reflect on one’s thesis. One of the marvels of Sebastian Junger’s Tribe stems from the fact that he has been ruminating his entire career about the complex ideas in this book regarding tribes and the alienating effects of modernity. While coming to terms with the effects of trauma after being a war correspondent himself, Junger’s firsthand experience of being embedded in Afghanistan informs a reflection over his long career as a war correspondent as well as a chronicler of dangerous jobs in American (see his book Perfect Storm). Interestingly, he was a tree climber and trimmer, which historically ranks high on the list of dangerous jobs. In addition, when Junger was testing himself as a young man by hitchhiking across the country, a compelling encounter he had with a homeless man enters his thinking and never leaves. And perhaps another, more profound theme resonates from an insight shared by his long time Native American mentor who reminds Junger that Native Americans rarely fled from their “tribes” to colonial outposts. Historically, the flight trend occurred among colonists who had fled from rescue attempts once experienced tribal life. So what is it about having a feeling of belonging in a small group of people? Interestingly, Junger taps into his anthropology background (his college major, which is a great liberal arts major to build critical thinking skills) for more understanding to explain our human tendencies to bend towards community bonds. That said, how does the convenience of modern life sometime deprive us of opportunities to work together, appreciate the vital things of life, and share resources? Or, what aspects of community and community spirit that is linked to our cultural DNA, do you find enduring, blooming? What’s your take-away? Feel free to enter the text wherever you want and create your personal response.
Directions: Please reflect on Junger’s Tribe and write about one useful takeaway that you had after reading this text. Then supply one sentence or phrase from the text that supports your takeaway (your idea, insight, or claim), and compose a 5-7 sentences in Standard English explaining how your quotation explains and supports your takeaway. Please follow MLA guidelines for citing your page number so that we can look up your passage easily. I suggest that you compose your comment in a Word document first, and then read it out loud to see how you can improve the flow of your ideas. Here’s a great model for help: https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/747/02/ Also recall to italicize titles.
Personally, I found this text compelling to read and ruminate upon throughout the summer. One aspect of Sebastian Junger’s profound thesis that I noticed reappearing on the news coverage lately had to do with the recent events in Texas and now Florida. So many people are taking responsibility for others and sharing resources! In fact, I also learned about Team Rubicon when I heard a great podcast that Junger did with Joel Klein, and these ideas together seem to be playing out even more. (https://www.ket.org/arts/great-conversations-sebastian-junger-and-joe-klein/) Team Rubicon helps channel veterans who have an innate sense of community and want to help out fellow humans recover from disasters. The organization is doing great work right now because it allows veterans to re-experience a sense of selflessness as well as that feeling of making a difference for others in need. This organization fills a need and deploys specialist who want to feel an authentic community spirit. https://teamrubiconusa.org
One of the many takeaways I had after reading our community text “Tribe” was, how community is so important in many aspects. Junker explained that veterans are more distressed after returning home than they are at warfare. This is due to the fact that at war each troop has a very strong community. Whereas, back home veterans do not feel this support system and therefore lose hold. Junker explains that “community of suffering allows individuals to experience an immensely reassuring connection to others”(53). For me, this is one more example of the positive effects a strong community has on its surrounding.
“Israel is arguably the only modern country that retains a sufficient sense of community to mitigate the effects of combat on a mass scale. Despite decades of intermittent war, the Israel Defense forces have by some measures a PTSD rate as low as 1 percent. Two of the foremost reasons may have to do with the proximity of combat – the war is virtually on their doorstep – and national military service.” (Junger 96)
I believe one of Junger’s main points in his book was during times of stress the community brings people together. This quotation is a great example of showing how when people are in a community when times are stressful those people are less apt to develop PTSD. He states that humans want to be close to each other and not separate. This relates back to the title of the text. Humans want to be in a Tribe environment and by doing so many of them will feel the positive effects and the support of the community. In the beginning of the text, Junger describes how less stressed people are living in a tribe rather than in the modern world, which is filled with people who are disconnected from each other. Junger stresses community throughout the text and is one of the main of point in it.
I found the book Tribe by Sebastian Junger to be a very interesting read. It showed me things that I did not expect about history or human psychology. It was surprising to me how our world has shifted from what we were hundreds of years ago, from living in tribes and working for the good of the community, to become one that is just concerned with one’s own good. But the even more surprising part was when Junger talks about the Blitz in London during World War II. From watching many movies, I would believe that everyone would freak out and try to do things for themselves when that sort of situation happens. But what happened was the opposite. As Junger said in the book, “Throughout the Blitz, as it was known, many Londoners trudged to work in the morning, trudged across town to shelters or tube stations in the evening, and then trudged back to work again when it got light. Conduct was so good in the shelters that volunteers never even had to summon the police to maintain order. If anything, the crowd policed themselves according to unwritten rules that made life bearable for complete strangers jammed shoulder to shoulder on floors that were at times awash in urine.” (The Men and the Dogs)
It reminded me of a flood that happened in Thailand back in 2011. I remember how people would try to stock water and food, trying to live in their homes through the flood. But when the water level rose too high, people had to evacuate their homes. Some had a place they could go to, while others did not. It was amazing to see the help from others pouring in. People would buy bottled water and canned food to send to the places that became a temporary shelter. When the supplies came, people would wait in line to get their portion. This book showed me that the world we live in is turning us into something that nature did not intend for us to become. But when disaster hits, we are able to revert back to our instincts of living happily in a “tribe”. When we are back in a tribe, things just fall into place and people would all work together for the best outcome. No one expected the people in London to stay sane through all of the bombs. But because of our tribal pasts, they were able to stay strong through the fifty-seven days of the Blitz. The early humans were able to survive because they were in a tribe and worked together, and I believe that we should remember how important it is that we help out others and do things for the community that we live in.
Petch relates the book to an event that affected him directly which was a flood in Thailand and he examines how the shelters had a strong sense of community. He directly correlates how the people of Thailand became a sort of “tribe”.
Through his talk, Sebastian Junger reiterated the fact that our country is divided and that divide is only growing between different groups and classes of people. His book Tribe laid out the information to prove the psychology behind the divide in our society, and how war brings us closer. Tragedy should never have to strike in order for our country to pull together. We need to respect and appreciate those in our community so that everyone can feel united again. By doing so, the veterans will be able to be proud of the country that they had sacrificed their lives for. The fact that they are literally killing themselves because of the stress and discomfort of fighting for a community that is beyond disconnected is unbelievable. If this is not reason enough to work towards a better society then our country will never be the same.
I agree with Cecile on the idea that a large portion of PTSD is due to the lack of support veterans are receiving from their community. I think “Tribe” really made aware the need for a better “return to life” care for veterans. Junger told how the veterans received more support on the battlefield than they did in their own communities because of the lack of people backing the war. After reading this book, I was not only astonished but horrified at the idea that someone who would give up their life for the sake of our country doesn’t even feel comfortable living in it. I thought to myself thinking how could it even be possible that someone could feel more at home in a war zone of guns and bombs and fighting, than quietly, at home with their families? I thought Junger did a spectacular job at emphasizing the bond built on foreign soil. The bond between brothers, friends and fighters, created by horror and sadness and shame that made a community of strangers, stronger together. This sense of community was a sort of beautiful sadness that definitely framed the way I now look at veterans.
Maddie’s comment expresses the main point of Tribe and expands our knowledge on the impact that the new community has on the veterans. By transferring into an environment, Maddy explains that the veterans were impacted by the lack of support from the community. She emphasizes the sad irony of the book; one would think that coming back home would help soldiers heal, but in fact, it traumatizes them even more than the actual battlefield.
I love books! While a good book provides a mirror experience for a “tribe” of learners, a complex, philosophical text can also open up windows for a collective conversation. Everyone so far is opening up very interesting windows to this text that I passed by when I was reading it this summer. So keep up the good job with these comments. I realize now that I am typing in the comment box that one can not italicize in this space. How sad! So you can keep up the quotation marks for this context. Excellent start to our first night of homework.
After reading Tribe, I realize that as people gain wealth and modernity, they tend to lose other things as costs, such as their mental health. Junger indicates that it is because that modernity focuses too much on “extrinsic values over intrinsic ones” (22), which makes people usually overlook those mental health issues. When people increasingly get involved in a modern society, they are more likely to develop depression given the fact that it is difficult for them to find out their self-identification and achieve “self-determination” (22). However, these values are essential to make people’s life meaningful.
One of my takeaways from Sebastian Junger’s Tribe was on the treatment of war veterans in America. It was intriguing to learn about the challenges that military personnel confront on their return from their tours. Junger stated that although some people may give praise to the vets, the country does not give them anything in return for serving the United States (100). A job would be better for a veteran that just got back home and has no connections for any jobs than some random person coming up to them and saying thank you. The thank you does not hold any physical value that truly shows how much that veteran means to you or the country. The veterans need to come back and make them feel important to get over any PTSD and actually have an opportunity to contribute to society as they had during the wars. They should not become jobless and never integrate back into society.
Of the comments, Matt Titterton writes a concise and insightful comment that reflects on an important part of the speech and the text. It touches an important theme, veterans that are coming home feeling useless due to their unemployment and alienation. Furthermore, while clearly stating this problem he provides a generalized solution to it: veterans need to be accepted back into our community
Although I didn’t agree with everything written in “Tribe” by Sebastian Junger, I did find it to be a rather interesting read. From the beginning of the novel, Sebastian Junger establishes that he believes Western society has more unpleasant traits than positive ones, which is something I found interesting to think about. On page 15, Junger writes that Western society has many obvious appealing attributes, leading us to believe it is a utopia, but beneath the surface lies a more unappealing truth. About living in Western civilization he writes, “on a material level it is clearly more comfortable and protected from the hardships of the natural world. But as societies become more affluent they tend to require more, rather than less, time and commitment by the individual, and it’s possible that many people feel that affluence and safety simply aren’t a good trade for freedom” (Junger 16). Junger then goes on to say that nomadic people living in the Kalahari Desert needed to work as little as twelve hours a week in order to survive. This is very interesting because teenage students work for more than twelve hours a day, five days a week, and make that six for students at Suffield Academy. The author then adds more facts to support his claim such as that there were little to no records supporting that depression-based suicides existed in tribal societies; this is compared to the staggering 25 deaths per 100,000 cases in modern societies. He brings his thoughts to a close by saying that “modern societies seem to emphasize extrinsic values over intrinsic ones,” and as a result of this mental issues only seem to increase proportional to how wealthy a society is (Junger 22). I walked away from reading this book with a point of view on modern society I have never seen before, and I think I’m a more understanding person because of it.
After reading the novel “Tribe” there was many reasons to why community is important. As Junger said “After 9/11 the murder rate in New York City went down 40 percent. The suicide rate went down. The violent crime rate went down in New York after 9/11. Even combat veterans of previous wars who suffered from PTSD said that their symptoms went down after 9/11.” This portrays an important message saying basically the men and women that fought in war and come back to regular everyday society are not going to react well because they aren’t used to it. Too be surrounded by war and then being in the real world takes a lot away from these people because it isn’t what they are been around. As a result, this is one useful takeaway that I got from Junger.
I strongly agree with the author’s point about the strength of bonds among communities during different wars and disasters. Junger elaborates his point by explaining the equality that emerges in battlefields: he says that everyone is equally protected and taken care of by their fellows. He also does a fantastic job in making his readers acknowledge the division that is overbearing our current world. By using different cases and testimonies, Junger made me remember to bring my community into one big united piece and support one another once again.
To add on to my previous comment,
Junger develops his argument by connecting the cause of PTSD and the lack of unity as a whole among the members of modern society, which helps him to corroborate his point that sometimes battlefields and dangerous situations grant people to experience the unity and fellowship that they had never felt before in their previous community. Moreover, he asserts that veterans and reporters’ symptoms and severity of PTSD seem to be aggravated through their realization of the lack of the unity and support from other members of the community. He also adds that this phenomenon is most likely due to our innate inclination towards group activities and bonds. I thought Junger’s point of view was very notable in a way that he put a lot of emphasis on the unity and human’s nature of bonding.
Sebastian Junger’s Tribe was insightful and interesting. One important takeaway for me is that it is necessary to engage in different experiences and be close with others in order to maintain a healthy mental state. Junger claims, “The mechanism seems simple: poor people are forced to share their time and resources more than wealthy people are, and as a result they live in closer communities” (Junger 21). This lack of engagement can have a negative effect on wealthy people specifically. Isolation can be caused by financial independence, and that can cause depression. One should not be independent all the time. Among tribes, people tended to be mentally happy due to their relationships and experiences with one another. I guess It is true when they say money does not buy happiness. I loved reading the comparisons between our two worlds, and how we can learn from these tribes.
Jack and I found Aashi’s comment to be insightful to our community text. Aashi’s takeaway was “that it is necessary to engage in different experiences and be close with others in order to maintain a healthy mental state.” We like this comment because we both value the state of our mental health and recognized Aashi’s takeaway as a truthful one.
Junger made a very great point about how the country of US is becoming very split up. as he pointed out in the video, people are getting angrier and that leads to growth of violence. Different classes of people should not conflict among each other. During wars and catastrophes people are forced to work as a team in order to survive. Troops always have support of each other out on the battle field, while back home they are left alone. It is so much stress to deal with after such combat and change of environment is not as essential as change of community. Veterans need to know that they are still needed as they were on the combat field. “As societies become more affluent they tend to require more, rather than less, (work) time and commitment by the individual, and it’s possible that many people feel that affluence and safety simply aren’t a good trade for freedom.”
Tribe by Sebastian Junger had many themes that one could relate to. My initial takeaway from the book after reading about the trapped coal miners was how the workers when disaster stuck they turned into leaders. These men and women were in survival mode and were not going to stop at any point. The men and women had different roles but were both vital to one another to have success. On page 64 as Junger describes the survival mentality “In what researchers termed the survival period, the ability to wait in complete darkness without giving up hope or succumbing to panic became crucial.” There are many takeaways one could have from reading Tribe by Sebastian Junger, I was personally impressed by the leadership and the drive they had.
I hadn’t thought about how the miners struck by disaster turned into leaders and started taking over a crucial role in society. It is interesting to see how humans can overcome disaster and focus on the well-being of other and put others in front of themselves. Since I read the book a few months ago, I don’t remember that specific scene, however, it is very interesting.
As quoted by Rachel Yehuda “If you want to make a society work, then you don’t keep underscoring the places where you’re different, you underscore your shared humanity,” she told me. “I’m appalled by how much people focus on differences. Why are you focusing on how different you are from one another, and not on the things that unite us?”
Junger stresses unity and belonging to a community throughout Tribe. In a society that is often focused on uniqueness and the idea that everyone is different, we as a nation frequently overlook the fact that everyone shares countless similarities. Those similarities include but are not limited to the will to survive, as well as the desire to help others. As unfortunate as it is, more often than not it takes a traumatic event for humans to come together. In the past several years the world has seen tens of millions of Syrian refugees pour out of Syria in need of safety. As a result, surrounding countries, as well as a handful of others have opened their borders in an attempt to help those in need. This not only demonstrates human’s instinctive nature to assist one another, but also to ensure the preservation of life.
It was difficult for me to put down “Tribe” written by Sebastian Junger after I picked up the book and began to read. I thought the statistics and the reality behind the book were insightful and at many points shocking. Personally, I wrongly thought that soldiers hated being in war, surrounded by the incessant violence, but in reality the connection and community that evolves through war is something they find difficult to leave. Something else that greatly surprised me was that people in higher-class communities, people who seem to have it all, had greater suicide rates than people in the armed forces. Especially in the time of multiple natural disasters happening in America, it also stood out to me when Junger mentioned how communities come together more than ever to try and over-come the awful incident they endured. “Disasters, he proposed, create a “community of suffers” that allow individuals to experience an immensely reassuring connection to other”. When everyone is suffering around you and can relate to how you feel it is much easier to connect with them and become stronger through one another. Even in smaller scale situations like getting a bad grade on a test along with your friend makes you not feel as bad because someone is in the same boat as you. Not only was the book interesting but also educational.
An eye-opening connection that I have made from Junger’s Tribe was that modern society is insufficient to a man’s basic needs. Junger credits the “Self-determination theory, which holds that human beings need three basic things in order to be content: they need to feel competent at what they do; they need to feel authentic in their lives; and they need to feel connected to others” (Junger 22). While reading this, my mind immediately compared this to a theory I learned about in a health class that I took during my freshman year called Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Maslow believed that there are a five levels of needs that humans need to accomplish to live a fulfilled life. The self-determination theory is a basic summary of the last three levels of Maslow’s theory: “Belongingness, Self Esteem, and Self Actualization”. Circling back to the reason why this idea stood out to me in particular, is that in modern times with all of the new technologies that we have access to make our society isolating and how that was applicable to my daily life. As a high school senior, I rely on technology: From using my cellphone as a morning alarm to my computer for homework to the calendar app to keep track on my assignments. When walking around campus and observing the people that would rather tune out to music than be present in the moment. It has become a habit for us to look at our phones when placed in social situations in which we are uncomfortable in rather than sparking up a conversation. Because of this, we miss out on so much. I am tired of wasting opportunity. Modern Society needs to learn that this new technology has negative effects on our psychological needs. That we need to find true fulfillment.
I wonder if technology dates Maslow’s five levels of needs in order to accomplish a “fulfilled life.” Similar to how people in current times say that The Constitution is a dated document and does not relate directly to modern day society, the principles of Maslow’s theory may need to be altered to address our current needs. Junger changed Maslow’s theory in “Tribe” to create the self-determination theory which better addresses our lives today.
Jackson and Vaughn
“Tribe” highlights the many ways in which our American society is flawed when it comes to returning soldiers, specifically with finding the right ways to nurture them based on their needs. People, especially soldiers,need to feel validation that they are worthy and that their work is important when they come home. The strong desire for affluence and the large emphasis on material possessions causes people to think less empathetically and more about themselves. This book teaches that if communities acted more like Native American tribes, the core values of the country would help returning soldiers from suffering with PTSD and lack of satisfaction with their deeds. The ways of Native American tribes prove things that U.S society tolerates, to be completely intolerable. For example, “Dishonest bankers and welfare or insurance cheats are the modern equivalent of tribe members who quietly steal more than their fair share of meat or other resources” (Junger 31). If the country went back to core values, soldiers, and everyone, would feel more validated and important within their communities and thus more committed to supporting them. The United States needs to focus upon and strengthen our community spirit. Lifting and supporting one another will strengthen us all.
My takeaway from this book was an affirmation of my belief that the ups and downs of life are balanced with good reason. “If war were purely and absolutely bad in every single aspect and toxic, it would probably not happen as often as it does. But in addition to all the destruction and loss of life, war also inspires ancient human virtues of courage, loyalty, and selflessness that can be utterly intoxicating to the people who experience them.” (77) I believe our modern state of leisure and safety has led to the feeling of complacency arising in many people today, at times appearing in the form of depression. Hardships result in strong bonds between people, bonds that can sometimes only be created by suffering and surviving through negative experiences together. Humans need both the feelings of safety, happiness and love, but also those of pain, heartbreak and loss in order to fully appreciate the former. This is something veterans understand but the average American consumer likely doesn’t, simply because they haven’t experienced it.
Nicole Lee and I think Jack brings up a good point: the average American citizen has not experienced enough loss and hardship to balance with his or her positive feelings. Therefore, we as a whole lack understanding of importance of embracing community and need to address the needs of the veterans and incorporate them into our society.
While reading the book Tribe by Sebastian Junger, it was clear that when combatants returned from war, they were often left with worse conditions in the Western World. When combatants return they are often forced to become reliant on the benefits that ex-combatants receive and as Junger says, “the consequence… was that ex-combatants were incentivized to see themselves as victims rather than as perpetrators” (99). They were seen as victims and they believed this was the only way that they could live their lives because without being seen as a victim they would have to live in a tough environment they were not use to. Therefore, they relied on the help of others rather than seeking out help to subdue the effects of PTSD that they were going through. Many felt guilty of what they had done in combat, but were never able to work through their feelings due to the state of the society they return to. Junger even tells how many combatants are moved to another state, where they are basically someone else. This is not a state that anyone should be in, especially someone who had bravely fought for the freedom of our country. Combatants like this need to seek help, rather than just seeming themselves as the victim. Junger helps to prove the point that many Americans have, which is that more needs to be done for our troops that return home from combat.
After reading Sebastian Junger’s “Tribe” I agree with his idea that the powerful connections and relationships with fellow soldiers during war should be transferred into modern society. Junger claims, “Human beings need three basic things in order to be content: they need to feel competent at what they do; they need to feel authentic in their lives; and they need to feel connected to others.” People become closer when they have shared similar experiences and feel they can relate to each other. Our society is becoming more and more disconnected due to the developments in technology. I strongly agree with his point on the importance of closeness within a community.
Mariia and I (Maya Grant) agree with Courtney as she brings up an interesting point that all people, and especially veterans, are in a deep need of someone they have shared a similar experience with. .The disconnection in our society is the issue that we should start caring about, as it affects everyone. Our world has changed after the development of technology, and she feels that it is important to bring back the feeling of belonging to a close knit community.
While a good story overall, it seemed throughout most of the story that the views were very biased, namely that it is from the view of a soldier. A good analysis should take into account several different views and not simply one. To do so otherwise would be like taking a side in a dispute while only knowing one half of the story.
In Sebastian Junger’s book I agree with his point about today’s modern society and the colonial society being centered around the wrong themes that is why so many colonials ran away from that life; he goes on to say his TED talk he goes on to say that us military vets have similar societies to native American tribes. His reasoning behind this is very clear. In the military units eat together, sleep together, and operate as a tribe, thus giving them the title of a community.
• He continued to say since soldiers are taken from a hostile society that they are used to and put into a real community they become homesick when they are put back into the hostile society.
• I admire the direct correlation Junger made from colonial time runaways to present day soldiers. Personally I believe that our society is flawed and we are taught from a very, very young age that we live in the best society in the world but we grow older and realize it’s not but by that time we are so accustomed to it we do minimal to change it. I believe that Junger theory on soldiers being removed from a caring community and put back into a hostile one is true but for it be proven fact, there needs to be something more. I cannot not explain it but there are too many variables in his theory before it can be proven fact. One being actual PTSD from soldiers seeing traumatic things. Another is deep rooted PTSD from childhood.
• I believe there should be more specifically because there are some very conservative thinkers who barely even believe in PTSD and for there to be a change in this country for veterans and how we operate there needs to be consensus. To simplify my point, I believe in Junger’s theory but I want more to accomplish a common goal
Junger makes very interesting points. He talks about how being united like a tribe benefits everyone. He says that america is being split and that is the reason or the main cause of depression and PTSD. He also says how in times of war and fighting people come together and unite to survive. The troops that are deployed to Iraq were forced to live in a tribal community with one another, this is the primitive way of life so it becomes natural to them. Once the troops come home however, they are faced with the reality of how the world is now, they feel alone. Junger made a good point in saying that this is our fault, the people that do not serve in these wars have no idea what it is like for the troops to get home and what they have been through. This causes miscommunication which even furthers the divide and loneliness these men and women feel. “Humans don’t mind hardship, in fact they thrive on it; what they mind is not feeling necessary. Modern society has perfected the art of making people not feel necessary.” This quote shows how the society we live in now is not compatible with war.
“If the human race is under threat in some way that we don’t yet understand, it will probably be at a community level that we either solve the problem or fail to. If the future of the planet depends on, say, rationing water, communities of neighbors will be able to enforce new rules far more effectively than even local government. It’s how we evolved to exist, and it obviously works” (Junger 109).
The world has been turned into a very competitive playing field and forces people to ignore their longing for working together. Collaborative thinking in the modern world is no longer celebrated and instead people prefer to be independent and support the weight of the struggle themselves. However, people do not realize that if the pain and suffering is shared amongst everyone, the group does not fall apart and lose confidence but instead gains strength. Sebastian Junger described this exact circumstance when recalling the reaction of the people affected by 9/11. There were thousands of people who suffered some kind of loss from 9/11 and as a result the people all shared the grief and were able to heal and recover together. When put under a great amount of pressure, the human race will always result back to gathering together.
I think what he said on the Ted talk is extremely realistic. At one point in the Ted talk, he mentioned that following the event of 9/11 New York City’s crime and the suicide rate has gone down by a lot. Reason being that tragic like that, traumatizing the whole community does not break us apart. Instead, it unites us. And by that reflecting on the book Tribe, I think that the main point is we need and we rely on one another, we were born like this and that is how we should be. Being in a community as a whole, we do not discriminate and we are all equal. We need each other to survive.
In Tribe, Junger talks about the impact that PTSD can have on veterans that leaves the community after serving in war. After watching people dying in front of them to helping save lives, veterans have spent their lives serving their country. After watching these terrifying evetns happen in front of them, PTSD can develop from remembering these dramatic events. Once these men come back from war they enter a new community that does not understand what have gone through and have not seen what they have seen. There is a divide between the veterans and the community around them. These veterans lose the support they had when they were in the war. While fighting for their country they are surrounded by people that see the same things and are having similar experiences. Junger relates this community support to hunting in ancient tribes, “The advantages of group cooperation would include far more effective hunting and defense, and groups that failed to function cooperatively must have gradually died out” (Junger 55). If the hunters in the ancient tribes did not work together than they would not have developed as a tribe and their species would have died out. By working together, they are supporting the future of their tribe. This relates to veterans at war, because they were able to get the support they need from people around them, whereas going back to their normal life they are not able to relate to others.
Sedley’s comment relates the veterans at war to hunters in ancient tribes. Specifically how working together to gather food brought success to the tribe and this idea would bring modern day communities closer together and give veterans that close knit feeling that they found while in service.Sedley did a nice an excellent job at tying these points together.
My interpretation of “Tribe” by Sebastian Junger was mainly focused on how Junger was able to juxtapose the sense of community in his experience as a soldier versus the sense of community in his experience in modern society. He explains how when grouped together and pitted against a common enemy, soldiers look past racial, ethical, and political differences in order to strengthen their community and reach a common goal. In war, soldiers see one object: fighting for the common good of their country and using their resources (especially each other) to best execute their mission. Junger explains how when he came back from war and was forced to readapt to the community in society, it was as if all differences, that soldiers put behind them in war, explicitly divided the overarching community in the country. “A person living in a modern city or suburb can, for the first time in history, go through an entire day – or an entire life – mostly encountering complete strangers. They can be surrounded by others and yet feel deeply, dangerously alone” (18). This quote resembles how society functions outside of the unit that Junger was a part of; it displays the differences between working together for a common good and working in society for one’s self. When a person has an individual goal in mind, it is extremely easy for them to allow themselves to completely disregard others and even spiral into a lonely pit of despair. When humanity functions as a community, people feel supported and not alone, as they know many are working with them towards a similar goal. However, this society tends to encourage humanity to do the opposite: competition, jealousy, and selfishness are all factors that contribute to the way our world works. Junger describes how different it can be coming from a tight knit community where one is reassured that others are enduring the same dilemma or process as themselves, then re-assimilating back into a lonely society where people often see others as obstacles in their way of personal success.
When reading Tribe, by Sebastian Junger, you are taught many lessons about the modern world, however the biggest takeaway to me is that of modern American society coming together as a functioning community only after a time of great loss. For example this means that in the aftermath of a natural disaster or displays terrorist attacks, the United States come together to form a sense of mourning. People are donating supplies, volunteering their time to help out a cause, and offering that shoulder for people to lean on. Junger expresses this by stating, “What people miss presumably isn’t danger or loss but the unity that these things often engender. [Junger, Pg. 92].” While these are all great things, the point that Junger is trying to make is that this is the way that society should always be. Veterans are scared to live in our current society because there is no sense of community or teamwork that they are so accustomed to after war. If our society could function as a team without the act of a natural disaster uniting us as one, our country would not only thrive as a society, but as a heart warming community for our brave veterans to live in.
Jacob and I noticed that Rory’s comments about how veterans are hesitant to re-assimilate into society were insightful due to the fact that there is a loss of community iin the modern world versus in war. The way he interprets Junger’s main point being that society should always be tightly linked and maintain a strong community resonates with us because we also extracted that conclusion from the text. We found that Rory’s choice of quote supported his claims about how veterans are exposed to two polar opposites regarding sense of community. He argues that modern American society only comes together as a community “after a time of great loss”. As well as Rory, Jacob and I understood that Junger was trying to articulate the point that society should remain like this regardless of the state it is in. Having come from 3 different high schools (Ala), I recognize how different communities can be; how tight knit, how dispersed, they change fluidly no matter where you are. However, I always support close communities and strive to make each one I am a part of more involved no matter where I am. Having come from Spain (Jacob), I am not accustom to prep schools so my experience has been highly different than most adolescents enrolled in private schools. I do, however appreciate the idea of a tight knit community and am very eager to be part of one. Rory’s comment and Junger’s message relates to us on a deep seated note due to our reverence and recognition of the importance of community.
Tribe by Sebastian Junger was a very interesting book, and opened the door to a lot of new perspectives on community and how it affects a human being. One takeaway I took from this novel was how much more humans felt connected to one another in community during wartime. This struck me as fascinating and puzzling because one would think that it would disrupt community life and atmosphere instead of pulling it closer together. Junger really struck me in chapter two when he stated, “The one thing that might be said for societal collapse is that –for a while at least – everyone is equal.” This interested me because I have never thought on the lines of this, and it really interested me to think about how everyone being equal could pull society closer together. Today’s gaps in classes is tearing a society more than a country at war where everyone is equal, and this proved to be a significant takeaway for me.
I deeply believe that “Tribe” written by Sebastian Junger is a very overwhelming book to read. The moment I finished the book, I asked myself numerous questions if our society living on right now is really divided. It was a counterintuitive thought for me that soldiers fighting in Afghanistan actually have a lower risk of PTSD or any other mental illness. It drove me to ponder about our common human instincts too: protection, love, and belonging. In a current materialistic society, people try to be in their best possible position while not respecting others’ human desires such mentioned above. I believe that this book is a perfect book that shows people that it is possible to find a win-win solution, which can possibly make everybody happy in the same ground. This is what our ancestors had done, and Junger clearly shows that there is no reason for us to be not able to do what our ancestors had been doing. I was sophisticated by the insights on the book, and this book taught me an enormous lesson that I could have never learned from anywhere else.
“What catastrophes seem to do – sometimes in the span of a few minutes – is turn back the clock on ten thousand years of social evolution. Self-interest gets subsumed into group interest because there is no survival outside group survival, and that creates a social bond that many people sorely miss” (Junger 66).
Sebastian Junger’s novel “Tribe” brings to light the startling truth regarding the state of human connection in developed countries. For thousands of years, people have been developing technology to make themselves more independent and their daily lives easier. Now, Junger points out that we as a species have reached such a point of ease and independence that the very fabric that has held the tribe of humanity together for millennia has frayed. This is due to the fact that we are happiest when we feel safe. Soldiers covet the safety of fellow soldiers watching out for one another, trapped miners find comfort in the support of their fellow survivors. When these people are reintroduced into the modern world, without this feeling of protection through community, they feel exposed in their independence. Therefore, Junger argues that it is not humanity’s mission to seek comfort through independence, but rather safety in one another.
Jackson makes a valid point when he describes how soldiers feel safer when they are in groups. He highlights the safety felt within them and how a single person would have a much more difficult time. Jackson also effectively supports a direct quote from Tribe with the evidence that American soldiers often return home to a world that is not only unfamiliar, but intimidating.
“Tribe,” by Sebastian Junger conveys a point of our need to be apart of a community. He explains multiple scenarios where this idea of the natural instinct to be in a society are conveyed. Junger’s idea of men being happier at war than back at home, brings up an interesting topic of how much we as humans crave to be a part of a culture and population. War brought these men closer together, for they felt as if they were apart of something bigger. That sense of being needed was worth more than the fighting and pain that they had to suffer. “Humans don’t mind hardship, in fact they thrive on it; what they mind is not feeling necessary (Junger).” They were depended on and had others for them to depend on. It overall created this underlying system of brotherhood. When they left, as veterans they became disconnected from that community and longed for that feeling again. It really proves why it is so hard for veterans to assimilate back into modern day, for how we do things in society versus in war is different. Junger points out that we lack this community in the everyday world. He mentions how we, as humans, are not meant to be living the way we do today. How we in modern day just disconnect ourselves from each other and it completly goes against our natural instincts. This disassociation between humans could be leading to our general unhappiness and commons of depression. Another point in which Junger touches on in his book, in which he states, “As affluence and urbanization rise in a society, rates of depression and suicide tend to go up rather than down.”
I thought that the book conveyed some really strong messages of community. It was crazy how people in the “civilized” world were leaving to join native american tribes whereas no native americans were leaving. “Before the war, projections for psychiatric breakdown in England ran as high as four million people, but as the blitz progressed, psychiatric hospitals saw admittance go down. (47) I found this quote really interesting. To me I think that it shows that people focus too much on themselves and not enough time on others. When there was a war going on and people were forced to look out for other people, instead of worrying about their social status or their jobs, psychiatric breaks did not happen as much. That was really eye opening to me. Also, as a whole, I think the book shows that people can get lost in the drift of huge civilization and that people need to find a small group of people to be very close to. It showed that when a small amount of people care a lot about each other, people are happier.
Matt T. and I think that Burch makes a good point through historical evidence about how a community brought together through war ended up behaving. He states how the psychiatric breakdown projections of England during the Blitz was much higher than what actually happened. I agree with Burch’s idea about how people get lost in the drift of modern civilization. We are always so busy doing our own thing to get ahead that we do not know and do not interact with the people around us. At Suffield, we have sit down lunches and work jobs that allow us to interact with others in the community that we may not have interacted with otherwise.
After reading Tribe, I was able to recognize how dependent and reliant human beings are with one another. The reading strongly emphasized the importance of having a tightly-knit social fabric within a group of individuals to maintain an easy state of mind for the individual.
I can best understand what Sebastian Junger is saying when reflecting on more personal experiences in the past; taking care of international business matters, my father was travelling in Japan of March, 2011, and the tremendous earthquake (later leading to the nuclear meltdown) was a nearly fatal situation for him. Fortunately, he evacuated before the tsunami and nuclear meltdown occurred, unscathed. This experience was not only scary, but surely somewhat traumatic and beyond disturbing.
When arriving home, I surely thought my father would continually have stress and trauma from the event, possibly putting him in a slightly unstable mental state. However, due to the closeness in his family and surrounding community, he moved on from the event quickly and steadily. Analyzing this example of my father being put in harm’s way, the social fabric of society that Junger strongly emphasizes is imperative in providing stability, strength, and steadiness for the individual.
Tribe is an excellent thought-provoking book because it sheds light on many controversial issues that exist in modern society, from the lack of community spirit to high depression and suicide rates. One of such controversies that stood out to me the most was that ironically many soldiers find it harder to ‘survive’ back at home than at the actual battlefield. “Today’s veterans often come home to find that, although they’re willing to die for their country, they’re not sure how to live for it,” Junger claims. For many of us, this statement is completely counterintuitive. How can war potentially be better than peace? Why would anyone prefer to live under a constant threat of losing his life instead of staying in a safe environment? But the main question is: Is living in our society actually worse than war?
The sad truth is that for many veterans this is true. While living standards in the United States are ones of the highest in the world, they do not guarantee happiness. In fact, such materialistic values slowly but steadily eliminate the more important ones, such as the sense of community and mutual trust. That is the exact reason why it is hard for soldiers to integrate back into the society; after spending so much time side by side with their comrades in arms, they find it hard to exist in the world where everyone is so isolated from each other.
Often not people don’t realize that it is almost involuntary for humans to necessarily be aggressive and or negative to each other. So when reading Tribe by Sebastian Junger, his chapter War Makes you an Animal has drove home the point that societal pressure placed onto young men allow that habit to become a new form of second nature. “In many tribal societies, young men had to prove themselves by undergoing initiation rites that demonstrated their readiness for adulthood.” (Junger 37) After living with my father for the past six years I have seen firsthand how men are held to a higher standard in today’s society. From maintaining our household to running his business, his stature and embodiment are a prime example of how men are held to such high expectations. Often when something has gone wrong consequences are given out rather it be verbal or physical. Especially with boys in comparison to girls who more so are treated less sternly and are seen as more fragile than their opposite counterparts. Men when taught from a young age that anger is better rather than showing sensitivity then feel the need to prove themselves. While I do agree with Junger that men tend to have higher expectations, I don’t find that it is also necessarily right to hold them so high to this accountability
Justin and I found Maya’s paragraph riveting. She examines the chapter “War Makes You An Animal,” which is about high standards and how men are taught to be aggressive. We disagree with Junger’s thought process and believe that men should not focus on aggression and war. Men should be able to feel emotions and not to hide them.
In the book, “Tribe” Sebastian Junger touches on various topics relating to a personal experience he had while serving the United States overseas. Out of the many points he makes throughout his work, the one that stood out was the underlying theme of community. Being a tribe means that everyone is a unit, whether they live together, eat together, or celebrate together; they are all one unit. Thinking back on this idea of a “tribe”, I quickly began to reflect on two worlds; the world today and a world with tribes. Today we are all distracted by technology and other meaningless possessions that everyone is independent and alone. Junger touches upon this point when he mentions how people of the higher financial status tend to be more depressed than people without the distractions, “The mechanism seems simple: poor people are forced to share their time and resources more than wealthy people are, and as a result they live in closer communities” (Junger 21). When stripped away from the toxins in one’s life, people begin to see how a bond forms between them, just like a tribe. When overseas, the men rely on each other, like a native relies on its chief. Going from a scene of brotherhood and war, to reality where everyone is distracted and distant from one another, makes someone who does not want to spend their life depending on a screen feel alone. When the troops come back from the mental, physical, and emotional journey, they are put in a world where they do not belong, this causes PTSD. Junger does an excellent job at relaying his message to the readers. This book made me want to experience life for the rawness of it, like one would in a tribe. Going back to our roots would benefit not only the environment, but everyone around us.
Shane and I agree with Mia in that technology and the stresses of the modern world cause people in society to stray from community life and connections. The wealthy people are focused generally more on the material things in life, distracting them from human relationships. During the war, soldiers are, as Mia said, brothers, however; when they come home they are separated from each other. When they arrive home, it is the not the horrors of war, but rather the distance from the men that were once their brothers tat causes PTSD.
I found Junger’s TED talk and his writing on the book “Tribe” about PTSD and how it affects many to be very inspirational. He experienced PTSD after fighting in combat and said, “I stood there with my back to the column until I couldn’t take it anymore, and then I sprinted for the exit and walked home. The nation wasn’t at war yet, and I had no idea that what I’d just experienced had anything to do with combat; I just thought I was going crazy” (73). Junger thought that him and others that were placed in the war dealt with PTSD more than others because they were forced to see people struggle. When he gets home, Junger thinks that he would be going into a “tribal community” where he can forget about what had happened, but these soldiers struggle because people like us do not understand what the soldiers fighting in the war have to deal with. People who fought in combat and suffered with PTSD came back to society and realized that their society did not help them because they did not get the support needed.
We agreed with what Paityn said. People feel better psychologically when they are engaged in a cause that gives them purpose, that is why people are sometimes happier when they return home. They feel closer together and feel like they are in a community. As a result of coming back, they often feel as though they have lost that aspect of community.
In my opinion “Tribe” highlighted the essence of community and how important being part of a community can be. I think the book demonstrated how being part of a community can so greatly shape a human being. For instance, in Tribe I found it interesting how the soldiers were better off at war with their fellow soldiers then returning home away from war. I learned that this was the case with the soldiers because they felt like they were apart of something at war with their community of soldiers instead of returning home with none of their soldiers with them to support one another. I also learned that is extremely hard for a soldier to come back from the physical and mental journey of war. These soldiers are put into a world after war that they can not function in and where they simply don’t belong. Junger explains this very well and says how in result, PTSD comes into place which is very unfortunate.
Tribe by Sebastian Junger brings up an important issue that people do not perceive as something problematic anymore. There is a tendency to undervalue the importance of coexisting as a community, mostly because the word “community” itself is overly used as is not seen as something people would genuinely want to talk about. The author has chosen a very interesting way of dealing with it by showing the concept of community from a historical perspective rather than working with abstract terms. He also reminds us that the best solutions are easier than we tend to think of them. I would say that the most fascinating part of the book is when the author brings up a point about solving global issues as a community rather than individuals: “If the human race is under threat in some way that we don’t understand, it will probably be at a community level that we either solve the problem or fail to.” (Junger, 109). The idea of humanity surviving only as a whole is not new; it is the common knowledge we all have but never use. It is different in its simplicity from all the exclusively theoretical concepts that are not viable as they are too complicated to have something to do with real life. This is what captured my attention in the book: instead of trying to invent another Frankenstein-like idea of what the world needs, Sebastian Junger helps us understand something we have known for a long time.
The book “Tribe” by Sebastian Junger simply gives you a theme of a man’s life. However, this man’s life is not a nice paved road. As you grow up and are thrown out into the society, there are a lot of impediments like hatred and having to hide emotions. One thing that I might recommend since I have not lived or experienced much like Junger, it would be that even if life does not go the way we think, at least it is not the worst. When we think that everything is bad it will continue to be negative but if we try to think it more positive, it would start to seem better.
The values that Sebastian Hunger set in this book are values that are commonly seen at Suffield Academy. People are meant to live in communities and work the one for the other in order to make an easier and a better life. As Sebastian says in his novel, soldiers who were captured by the Indians tried to go back to their lifestyle but they ended up not doing it because they preferred what Indian community wanted to accomplish: a life with no war no selfishness, where everybody could take part in any activity for the community’s benefits. For instance, Suffield Academy could be replaced for the Indians community to understand how this school works. This first week in this school has made me seen how can people cooperate to make things work. When I had to register my first day, I remember students offering to help me without even asking. Ten people helped me and made me feel like if I had been a Suffield student all my entire life. I can assure that once you are in this school you do not want to live, as the soldiers did in the Indian community. Sebastian’s amazing prose has created and also proved by American veterans, another way of thinking about how to make life much more comfortable for those who have suffered traumas throughout their war lives; living in small communities. To conclude, if I had to summarize “Tribe” in one word, it would definitely be Suffield.
Jackson makes a point when he talks about how soldiers feel safer when they are with other people. He also talks about the safety felt within them and how a person would have a hard time. Jackson also supports a direct quote from Tribe with the evidence that American soldiers often return home to a world that is always bad and also scary .
I have lived with men my whole life and I have seen firsthand how masculinity can take over their emotions and actions. “Tribe” by Sebastian Junger showcases how men are continuously concerned with the idea of war. The chapter, War Makes You An Animal, demonstrates how gender equality is not palpable and how men have a difficult time portraying their true emotions. From a young age men have not been able to be gentle due to stereotypes and prejudices; “I played war when I was young, and like a lot of men I retained an intense and abiding curiosity about it,” (Junger 35). I agree with Juger about how men are very masculine. However, I do not agree with Junger when he reveals that all men should comply with the cliché.
Sebastian Junger’s book “Tribe” really spoke to me and taught me about the importance of community. I found it very surprising that we, the common Americans, might be the cause for what we consider PSD in veterans of war. The idea that veterans are unable to return home and live normal lives because of a lack of community is frightening. We, as Americans, pride ourselves on our country and the way we accept all people into our society. Junger, however, shows us that this is not true and that we, as a country, are not a close-knit community. One way Junger proves this is by explaining how veterans feel more comfortable in war with their comrades than they do with their family and friends at home. The bonds people share in times of desperation are the types of bonds our society needs in order to function at its best. An explanation for people being brought together in tough situations is that “Humans don’t mind hardship, in fact they thrive on it; what they mind is not feeling necessary” (xvii). People feel necessary when they are in close-knit communities with people that depend on them and care about their well being. In “Tribe,”Junger brings up a good point: “Modern society has perfected the art of making people not feel necessary” (xvii). In order to make everyone in our modern society feel necessary, we need to work together and depend on one another so that we will all thrive. Modern society needs to learn from historical examples of wars and disasters by copying the way the people in these situations work cohesively as a “tribe,” or community to survive. Once we understand this ideology, our country will be better off.
After reading “Tribe” by Sebastian Junger, I have come to realize that while wealth and materialistic objects and ideas may mean something in the smaller picture, they mean almost nothing when compared to the larger world. Junger touches on many points throughout his novel, discussing the struggle that soldiers go through when returning to America, only to find a lack of community that they were so accustomed to in the Military. Junger almost immediately states, “They emulated Indians, married them, were adopted by them, and on some occasions even fought alongside them. And the opposite almost never happened” (Junger 2). This is a clue that while factories were rapidly growing in cities such as Chicago, men and women still felt that the community-based life shared by the Indians would be more fulfilling than a high salary paying job, entirely isolated from the rest of the community. This made me realize that while money and objects may seem important for respect and social status, it means almost nothing if there is no sense of community to go along with it. Without a community, humans feel isolated and alone, defying what human nature strives for; a bond with others just like them. Because of personal experience in the Military, Junger provides a clear and strong case for why a community is always the larger picture that humans will strive towards, rather than materialistic goals and ideals.
Sebastian Junger got it all wrong. Let me explain. I found Tribe fascinating. His point, wonderfully well backed with psychological research, was that humans evolved to place great value on being part of a community and that times where we feel in danger, the importance of community increases drastically and we are driven together. After all, a cohesive group has a much higher chance of surviving than a lone human does, and in times of danger, it is most wise to follow the best survival strategy. However, I’m not sure that Junger’s conclusion that it is only in danger that we band together was correct. I think that he didn’t have enough variety in his data to properly use inductive reasoning. Inductive reasoning is creating a generalized conclusion based on specific examples, however, if there is only one certain type of specific example, then the wrong conclusion will almost certainly be drawn. Junger only looked at examples of communities battered by war and extreme poverty, as well as the exact opposite, communities with no significant threats or stressors, people living a mundane and easy life. He found the war-torn were closer and even happier, while there were significantly higher rates of depression among those living in ease, and concluded from this data that it was the danger of a situation that brought people together. However, it is my opinion that this is the wrong generalization, at least it isn’t the total truth. Instead, I believe that in any situation where there is a common goal that the community is excited about, then that community will begin to cohere. The people at war were simply united by common goal everyone is excited about, survival. I hypothesize that other common goals like scientific advancement, collaboration on things the community is passionate about, and innovation can all be things that a community will get excited about and therefore be drawn together. The creation and improvement of tools and weapons were essential for early humans to survive. And as the old adage goes, “two heads are better than one”. It makes sense that we would evolve to want to share our discoveries with groups or communities because those that didn’t would innovate less, have less sophisticated tools and eventually die out, thereby promoting collaboration and curiosity in the human gene pool. This theory predicts that if humans emphasize sharing ideas and innovations then they will be driven together just as they would have been by danger. My parents often talk about how the climate of American culture was absolutely electrified leading up to the moon landing, and how the whole country seemed to have been brought closer by this exciting scientific endeavor. While this may be because both of them were under ten years old, it does seem to back up my theory. In conclusion, a new American culture focusing on and excited by science and innovation might be brought together similar to how Junger’s example communities were, thereby decreasing depression and PTSD.