The 2016-17 Common Book is Tribe: On Homecoming & Belonging by Sebastian Junger.
Tribe examines the way war creates intimate bonds between people. Through times of adversity, humans are given a sense of purpose and connection. These experiences create collectives that depend on one another, ultimately connecting with our inherent nature as a communal species. To this point, Junger explores the relationship between combat veterans returning home and higher rates of post- traumatic stress disorders, as they search for the closeness and unity in everyday society. Tribe explores themes of loyalty, belonging, and the human quest for finding meaning in life. This book introduces elements of tribal societies for the purpose of helping us consider ways of creating communities that thrive not from catastrophe or war, but from peace and the act of coming together in purpose.
Sebastian Junger uses anecdotal historical notes, as well as psychological and anthropological lenses to explore the tribal connection that is largely lost in today’s society. The lack of clear purpose and community begs the question: how can we come together in today’s divided world.
How to Get Your Copy
Copies of the book will be given with incoming students at Summer Orientation, but if you’re in the neighborhood, you can also stop by the Office of First-Year Experience in Dewey Hall to pick one up. Copies will be available after the end of May.