Describe what a common moral framework of individualism involves
Describe what a common moral framework of individualism involves and discuss how and why its rise to dominance within modern democratic societies is a contemporary social problem.
The common moral framework of individualism gives precedence to the ideologies of individual responsibility and choices (Little, 2018). Individualism dictates that people are morally responsible for their choices and excludes the consideration of a person’s social context in influencing the decisions they make. Considering a society, under individualistic perspectives, there occurs a moral weakness (Little, 2018). The individualistic perspective has grown in dominance within modern democratic societies bringing several problems along with it.
A democratic society, according to Walls (2008), requires collective thinking among members of a particular group. The group considers the opinions of all individuals in a democratic society, and the best course of action is charted according to what the majority in the group will decide, a set of actions that do not apply well under the lens of individualism. A group in a democratic society should have a clear understanding of its needs, goals, and plans to attain them, but when people approach their problems from a purely individualistic standpoint, initiating a dialogue on collective interests is easily hampered (Walls, 2008). Individualism, therefore, leads to instances such as those where leaders give primary thought to themselves and the political class without taking into consideration the wellbeing of the lower classes of the society. Similarly, individuals such as those in the middle class of society, who could voice their opinions to improve the democratic society, do not involve themselves as they are blind to the struggles of those under them. Overall, therefore, the rise of individualism in democratic societies culminates in the formation of groups to hoard power for themselves at the expense of other members of the society, which limits the participation of some groups in the democracy.
Little, W. (2018). Introduction to Sociology-2nd Canadian Edition. B.C Open Textbook Project.
Walls, S. M. (2008). The Impact of Individualism on Political and Community Participation [Doctoral dissertation, University of Cincinnati].