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The Ambiguity of the Community as an Ideal and Practice: A Philosophical Approach

Keywords: Community , society , utopian communities , Afro-Americans’ experience of community , T nnies , Dewey , Marx.

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Abstract:

In this article, the main focus is to delve into the different and contentious meanings of community as a distinguished mode of social organization by appealing to two distinguished thinkers: Ferdinand T nnies and John Dewey. The idea of community can be read as a resistance point against the dissolution of communal life answering the loss of our sense of connectedness, but it maintains the oppression of the individual for the sake of community as well. In order to grasp these various aspects of community, at first, I will turn back to the idea of community as it is explained in T nnies’s work, Community and Society, in relation to Dewey’s Public and its Problems and then I will ask if the utopian communities failed as Marx proposed or they have still something to tell us. In conclusion, I will take up utopian experiments and the contribution of Afro-Americans’ experiences to the idea of community. In doing so, I aim at pointing out whether we find a historical ground for Dewey’s identification of community with democracy. For he is reluctant to give us a ready-made prescription.

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