In modern lifestyles, traditional tribes such as class and gender image have become less significant in an increasingly unstable and liquid world. The individuals in social group seek to move and adapt to the ever-changing world. Comparing with the traditional tribe, the neo-tribe is not bound by geography and kinship. It does not rely on historical tradition, as it comes into being as the occasion arises. Neo-tribe only exists for the duration of its rituals.

The difference between neo-tribe and subculture is the characteristics of identity. In a subculture, identity is unified and fixed. It assumed the members to keep the static roles and identities. In the meanwhile, neo-tribe is a group of people who have chosen to come together for a particular period of time and place, for a specific reason. The stylish sensibilities exhibited by the young people are clear examples of a form of neo-tribe rather than a fixed subcultural group.

According to Andy Bennet’s study on subculture, which takes youth style and dance music as examples, the term Subculture denotes rigid lines of division between the different forms of identity and association. Hence Bennet argues that the concept of “subculture” is flawed and that a new definition should be used. For Bennet, Maffesoli’s concept of neo-tribalism provides a much more adequate framework to describe the musical taste and visual style of modern day youth cultures because it allows for more fluid identities and different circles to interact.