Definition of communitarianism in US English:



  • 1A theory or system of social organization based on small self-governing communities.

    • ‘Recently, Durkheim's writings have been called upon to contribute to the theoretical debate on liberalism and communitarianism.’
    • ‘He represents the challenge to pluralism both by rising communitarianism and by globalization of culture and capital.’
    • ‘Played the right way, this communitarianism can be expanded in Australia to the advantage of our society, including its depressed and frightened minorities, and our economy.’
    • ‘But like everybody else I was convinced that we had to stop the rapid development of so called communitarianism and a certain expression of fundamentalism.’
    • ‘What these areas have in common is that they are communities of collectivism, where relatively strong combined social networks of trade unionism, labourism and communitarianism allow mobilizations in defence of left of centre values.’
    • ‘For the record, what I do argue in the book is that vesting too much power in a centralised state may not bring out the best in human nature compared with decentralised smaller-scale communitarianism.’
    • ‘I am sure most of them would not support the communitarianism or the persuasive patriarchy or the muteness against slavery of early Christianity.’
    • ‘He did not cling to the ideals of communitarianism, but instead promoted industrial and agricultural development.’
    • ‘Nevertheless, the authors do recognise that communitarianism in and of itself is not an adequate institutional foundation for effecting change.’
    • ‘The aim is to propose an ethic that goes beyond the current labels of liberalism and communitarianism.’
    • ‘A solution lies in communitarianism: governments facilitating the rules of community engagement, acting as brokers in the relationships and connections between people.’
    1. 1.1 An ideology which emphasizes the responsibility of the individual to the community and the social importance of the family unit.
      • ‘The step from I to we, from subject to community, from liberal individualism to postliberal communitarianism is therefore important, but not sufficient.’
      • ‘Jane Addams's work can be seen as a basis for a feminist progressive communitarianism that critiques isolated individualism and understands personal identity as necessarily embedded in social and political community.’
      • ‘The claim that cosmopolitans underestimate the role that separate communities play in the lives of human beings is a central theme in communitarianism.’
      • ‘Theories such as communitarianism stress the importance of the family and see failings in the family or in the upbringing of children as the fault and responsibility of individual family members.’
      • ‘It's the difference between individualism and communitarianism.’
      • ‘We need to choose whether we want to adopt competition or cooperation, aggression or nurturance, individualism or communitarianism as we seek to create a better world for all humanity.’


Mid 19th century: from community + -arian, on the pattern of words such as unitarian.