Individualism In Community

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Community spirit, also commonly referred to as the sense of community, is generally defined as “a feeling that members have of belonging, a feeling that members matter to one another and to the group, and a shared faith that members' needs will be met through their commitment to be together” (McMillan & Chavis, 1986). A strong sense of community can have positive effects on both individuals and communities (Kloos et al., 2012) and participation in the community is a fundamental aspect of a good life for individuals (Strike, 1993). However, in general, there has been an observable decline in community spirit over the years (Putnam, 2000). Certainly, there are many factors leading up to such a phenomena. However, in this literature review, I …show more content…
The rise of individualism first began in American and other European communities. However, due to modernization, urbanization and increasing exposure to foreign cultures, the ideology of individualism is becoming more and more common in many other societies in today’s world (Ram, …show more content…
To a certain extent, individualism do produce certain effects advantageous to the building of community spirit as well. For one, the rise of individualism served as the crucial engine to promote several significant developments, such as women rights, education and the narrowing of income gap (Qvortrup, 1997). This has improved the situations and circumstances of many, and it is favourable for the building of community spirit as there will be increased community cohesion and participation from all individuals. At the same time, a higher level of individualism is often linked to increased economic activity, and it is likely to result in a more prosperous society that will ultimately benefit the people as a whole. Hence, despite the negative consequences of individualism on community spirit, Strike (1993) has warned us against blindly opposing individualism as it might lead to an erosion of individuals’ basic liberties, and could lead to oppression and violence.

In conclusion, although there are some positive effects of individualism, the effects of individualism on community spirit are largely unfavourable. Unfortunately, the rise of individualism is inevitable due to its close relationship with modernisation and development. Therefore, in today’s context, the key is to pursue and sustain the community spirit without sacrificing the positive aspects of individualism. Leaders should remain

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