Rethinking McLuhan’s concept of ‘tribe’ in view of ‘Second Life’.

Katleen Gabriels

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference paper


In his philosophy of media, McLuhan was one of the first theorists to link technology to the concept of 'tribe'. Taking McLuhan's conceptualization of 'tribe' in electronic society as a starting point, this paper has a two-fold objective. Firstly, we will enlarge on McLuhan's notion of 'tribe' and how the French postmodern theorists Jean Baudrillard (1929-2007) and Michel Maffesoli (1944) have reframed it. Secondly, their respective conceptualizations of tribalism will be evaluated in the framework of the social virtual world 'Second Life' which unites and connects people in real-time online on a global scale.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMcLuhan’s Philosophy of Media – Centennial Conference (Contact Forum). Brussels: Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium for Science and the Arts
EditorsY. Van Den Eede, J. Bauwens, J. Beyl, M. Van Den Bossche, K. Verstrynge
Place of PublicationKoninklijke Vlaamse Academie
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 2012
EventUnknown -
Duration: 1 Jan 2012 → …


Period1/01/12 → …

Bibliographical note

Y. Van Den Eede, J. Bauwens, J. Beyl, M. Van den Bossche, & K. Verstrynge (Eds.)


  • Tribalism
  • Philosophy of media
  • Social virtual worlds
  • Second Life


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