<b>「集団主義-個人主義」をめぐる3つのトレンドと現代日本社会</b>  [in Japanese] <b>Three trends in contemporary Japanese society</b>:From the viewpoint of collectivism-individualism  [in Japanese]

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現代日本社会の特徴の一つを、「集団主義-個人主義」をめぐる3つのトレンドによって考察する。ただし、本稿で用いる「集団主義」、「個人主義」の概念は、従来、社会心理学で用いられてきた同名の概念とは、基本的に性格を異にする。すなわち、本稿では、規範を身体の溶け合いから擬制される「第三の身体」の声であると捉える大澤(1990)の規範理論に依拠し、第三の身体が具象的身体とオーバーラップする段階を集団主義、そのオーバーラップを減じ、第三の身体が不可視の抽象的身体となった段階を個人主義と定義する。<br> 欧米では、「集団主義(前近代)→個人主義(近代)→身体の溶け合いへの回帰(ポスト近代)」という歴史的経路を辿ったのに対し、現代日本社会には、①集団主義からマイルドな個人主義へと向かうトレンド、②マイルドな個人主義から本格的な個人主義へと向かうトレンド、③マイルドな個人主義から溶け合う身体へと回帰するトレンドの3つが共存していることを、具体的な社会現象の例をあげつつ指摘した。20年程度の近未来を見通すとき、③のトレンドが急速に主流になるであろうことを予想するとともに、このトレンドを②のトレンドと見誤ってはならないこと(平易に言えば、集団主義の減退を個人主義化と見誤ってはならないこと)を強調した。

We discussed the major characteristics of contemporary Japanese society from the viewpoint of collectivism and individualism. The concepts of collectivism and individualism in this paper are quite different from the ones that have been used so far in social psychology, especially cross-cultural psychology where the focus is in comparison between the West and the East. When informed by the mind-in-a-body paradigm, both traditional social psychology and cross-cultural psychology define collectivism as the psychological tendency to emphasize relationships with other people in one's mind, and individualism as the psychological tendency to emphasize one's own thoughts and emotions in one's mind.<br>   In this paper, the two concepts are redefined from the social constructionist perspective, specifically based on a sociological body theory of norm proposed by the Japanese sociologist, Masachi Osawa (Sugiman, 2008). The theory argues that norm, defined as an operation to indicate a set of valid (or assumable) actions, is the voice of a third body, something like a god, that is born from a situation named an inter-bodily chain in which one becomes others. An inter-bodily chain develops when two or more specific bodies interchange intensely and frequently. The third body is different from each specific body in the chain but represents all of those bodies. When the third body is born, it is visible in the sense that it overlaps with a specific body, but it can reduce the overlap and thus become more invisible while making its voice (i.e., the content of norm) more general and increasing the number of bodies that are in the sphere of its influence.<br>   In this paper, we point out that collectivism corresponds to a situation in which a visible third body is prevalent while individualism corresponds to a situation in which an invisible third body is prevalent. This paper proposes, with some real examples, that three trends are proceeding in contemporary Japanese society, i.e., (1) a trend shifting from collectivism to mild individualism, (2) a trend shifting from mild individualism to genuine individualism, and (3) a return from mild individualism to a situation in which an inter-bodily chain is prevalent. We emphasize that the third trend should not be mistaken for the second, because losing collectivism that remains in mild individualism is not the same as becoming more individualistic. It reflects a mainstream trend toward the development of new interchanging bodies.


  • Journal of 'Group Dynamics'

    Journal of 'Group Dynamics' 27(0), 17-32, 2010

    Japan Institute for Group Dynamics


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