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Ethan Watters: Urban Tribes

  • Kurzbiographie


Ethan Watters in seiner eigenen Schreibe


WATTERS, Ethan (2001): In My Tribe.
The Way we live now,
in: New York Times Sunday Magazine
v. 14.10.


Ethan Watters: Porträts und Gespräche

fehlt noch

Urban Tribes  (2003).
A Generation Redefines Friendship, Family, and Commitment



"On a personal quest to find out why he is still single well into his thirties, Ethan Watters goes searching for answers, and along the way makes an extraordinary discovery about his generation.
While taking stock of his life, Watters realizes that he only has to look as far as his own social circle to see that he is not alone. Rather than settle down into traditional families, he and his friends have formed an Urban Tribe -- an intricate community of young people who live and work together in various combinations, form regular rituals, and provide the support of an extended family.
Just as Watters begins to conceive of his friends as a tribe, he begins to see tribe life reflected everywhere. Across the country, these tight-knit groups of friends are what fill the increasingly wide stretch between college and married life. While social commentators and parents wring their hands about the plight of "never-marrieds," the real story is that these young adults are spending those years living happily in groups of their own making. In the process, they're changing the landscape of modern cities, as well as their own prospects for the future.
Urban Tribes is the story of Watters's investigation into a nationwide phenomenon, one that is key to understanding the choices of his generation. He draws not only on his own story, but on interviews with hundreds of tribe members around the country. He stuffs envelopes at the headquarters of the American Association of Single People, takes us on his tribe's annual pilgrimage to the Burning Man festival in the Black Rock Desert, and trolls for romantic advice at the American Psychological Association's national convention. And when he finally finds true love and starts a family of his own, he looks back at his tribe years and considers what their legacy will be. Insightful, funny, refreshing, and compulsively readable, Urban Tribes is destined to become a classic look at a generation changing all the rules. "

Begriff "Urban Tribes"

"I use the word »tribe« quite literally here: this is a tight group, with unspoken roles and hierarchies, whose members think of each other as »us« and the rest of the world as »them.« This bond is clearest in times of trouble. After earthquakes (or the recent terrorist strikes), my instinct to huddle with and protect my group is no different from what I'd feel for my family.
(...) Tribal behavior does not prove a loss of »family values.« It is a fresh expression of them.
It is true, though, that marriage and the tribe are at odds. As many ex-girlfriends will ruefully tell you, loyalty to the tribe can wreak havoc on romantic relationships. Not surprisingly, marriage usually signals the beginning of the end of tribal membership."
(Ethan Watters im New York Times Sunday Magazine vom 14.10.2001)



FLANAGAN, Caitlin (2003): Sticking Together.
Coming (slowly) of age in Big City,
in: The Atlantic Monthly, Oktober

CLARK, Alex (2004): Urban Tribes by Ethan Watters,
in: The Sunday Times v. 29.02.

BECKETT, Andy (2004): The best of mates.
According to the young Americans described by Ethan Watters in Urban Tribes, we don't need our families any longer. Andy Beckett looks at the new grouping,
in: The Guardian v. 27.03.


Das Buch in der Debatte

PETERSEN, Karen S. (2003): "Urban tribes" build bonds,
in: USA Today v. 05.10.2003

AVNI, Sheerly (2003): In your tribe.
Young people are staying single longer because they are so fulfilled by their network of friends, says journalist Ethan Watters in a new book. Has he touched on a generational phenomenon, or did he just write a book about his Burning Man crew?
in: salon.com v. 13.10.

KEMBER, Olivia (2004): Tribal authority,
in: New Zealand Listener, Nr.193 v. 15.05.

CHAKRABORTY, Sanghamitra/GHOSH, Labonita/SRINIVASARAJU, Sugata/ROY, Soumya (2005): Two's  A Crowd.
Home alone. 
Move over the eccentric bachelor uncle or the poor spinster aunt. Singlehood today is a choice—a happy, free one,
in: Outlook India v. 31.01.

CHAKRABORTY u. a. stellen den Lesern die neuen Singles in Indien vor. Nach einer Vorstellung des US-amerikanischen Bestsellers von Ethan WATTERS ("Urban Tribes") und Sasha CAGENs ("Quirkyalone") wird auch ein indisches Buch von Sunny SINGH ("Single in the City: the Independent Woman’s Handbook") erwähnt. Nicht nur in westlichen Großstädten, sondern auch im urbanen Indien gibt es mittlerweile Yuppies, die sich ein Singleleben leisten können. Die Autoren beschreiben das neue Singleleben und gehen auf die Vorurteile ein, mit denen diese Singles konfrontiert sind.

Urban Tribes in der Debatte

BAXTER, Julie (o.D.): "Tribes" keep family values going strong,
in: The Coloradoan

STEFFENS, Sara (o.D.): Among friends.
Many gather for Thanksgiving without family,
Guide Holiday

ECONOMIST (2001): The Bridget Jones economy.
Singles and the city,
in: Economist
v. 20.12.

GANAHL, Jane (2004): It's time for some new traditions for never-marrieds,
in: San Francisco Chronicle Online v. 19.12.


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