Detribalization is the collapse of a tribal and feudal hierarchy. It happens any time a hot and mechanical medium is introduced to such a culture. By contrast, electric media may be more likely to result in retribalization.[1]

The fact that mechanical media detribalize may be explained by the fact that they result in specialism of roles that were previously shared.[2]

One example of such detribalization is print's effect on Western medieval culture.[3] For cultures other than the ones in which print developed, the influx of mechanical media is jarring, because the culture is not prepared for a gradual transition into their effects.[4]


  1. UM, p. 24
  2. UM, p. 24
  3. UM, p. 16
  4. UM, p. 16