|Budget Amount *help
¥3,200,000 (Direct Cost : ¥3,200,000)
Fiscal Year 1999 : ¥1,700,000 (Direct Cost : ¥1,700,000)
Fiscal Year 1998 : ¥1,500,000 (Direct Cost : ¥1,500,000)
A group of ideas taken as a critical theory under the same of communitarianism became prominent in American academic realms in the 1980s. This research aims to explore, from a sociological point of view, social and historical backgrounds underlying the historical fact that the communitarianism obtained not a few American advocates in that time. The communitarian ideas are grouped according to specialties of its advocates into the two types : philosophical and popular ideals of communitarianism. The philosophical communitarianism is applied primarily in philosophical and ethical arguments of such topics as justice, rights, freedom as a criticism of the Rawlsian liberalism. While the two types of communitarianism are highly correlated, it is rather the popular communitarianism that is picked up in this research as the central research target.
The major claim in the popular communitarianism is characterized as an ideological opinion that the social diseases American society currently suf
fers from are due to an overwhelmed individualism. The individualism, it claims, appeared in the 1970s as a consequence of declination of the communal principles that prevailed widely in American value consciousness and thus contributed to integrate American society. The communitarians, in particular advocates of the popular communitarianism, stress functions of community to regulate, in ethical sense, people's behavior and to maintain a justifiable social order. Robert Bellah, Professor Emeritus of University of California, Berkley, and an eminent advocate of the communitarianism, mentioned in my interview his nostalgic admiration of a healthy status of American society in the age of the New Deal. This nature of looking backward' of the communitarian perspective, though criticized as a weak point, is in this research interpreted as an indicator of social ideology that is necessitated to understand the direction of change of modern societies with democratic basis of individualism and liberalism. Less