In this paper we progress a model that describes and explicates the systematic techniques of hostility and aggression that take the form of contemporary tribalism in technology- enabled communities. We argue that these practices are not mere artefacts of dysfunctional communication, but embody important rituals essential for maintaining and defining the boundaries between the contradictory social roles that are frequently found in online communities. Conflict therefore provides an alternative set of unifying principles and rationales for understanding social interaction within technologically enabled communities. We illustrate the importance of conflict through the analysis of dialogue from an Australian- based stock market forum concerning identity shape-shifting.