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Concept Paper

Community and Communitarianism in Toni Morrison: Restoring the Self and Relating with the Other

by 1,* and 2
1
Department of Indian Studies, College of Asian Languages and Cultures, Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, Seoul 02450, Korea
2
Department of Persian and Iranian Studies, College of Asian Languages and Cultures, Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, Seoul 02450, Korea
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Gregor Wolbring
Societies 2021, 11(2), 57; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc11020057
Received: 19 April 2021 / Revised: 4 June 2021 / Accepted: 4 June 2021 / Published: 6 June 2021
(This article belongs to the Collection Community-based Rehabilitation and Community Rehabilitation)
Toni Morrison discusses the rebirth of the entire Black race through self-recovery. However, her novels are not limited to the identity of Black women and people but are linked to a wider community. Morrison might have tried to imagine a community in which Black identity can be socially constituted. In this paper, we discuss the concept of community by examining communitarianism, which is the basis of justice and human rights. Although community is an ambiguous notion in the context of communitarianism, communitarians criticize the abstract conceptualization of human rights by liberal individualists, but also see that human rights are universally applicable to a community as a shared conception of social good. Communitarianism emphasizes the role and importance of community in personal life, self-formation, and identity. Morrison highlights the importance of self-worth within the boundary of community, reclaiming the development of Black identity. In the Nancian sense, a community is not a work of art to be produced. It is communicated through sharing the finitude of others—that is, “relation” itself is the fundamental structure of existence. In this regard, considering Toni Morrison’s novels alongside communitarianism and Nancy’s analysis of community may enable us to obtain a sense of the complex aspects of self and community. For Morrison, community may be the need for harmony and combination, acknowledging the differences and diversity of each other, not the opposition between the self and the other, the center and periphery, men and women. This societal communitarianism is the theme covered in this paper, which deals with the problem of identity loss in Morrison’s representative novels Sula and Beloved and examines how Black individuals and community are formed. Therefore, this study aims to examine a more complex understanding of community, in which the self and relations with others can be formed, in the context of Toni Morrison’s works. View Full-Text
Keywords: Toni Morrison; community; communitarianism; the inoperative community; human rights Toni Morrison; community; communitarianism; the inoperative community; human rights
MDPI and ACS Style

Koh, T.; Kwak, S. Community and Communitarianism in Toni Morrison: Restoring the Self and Relating with the Other. Societies 2021, 11, 57. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/soc11020057

AMA Style

Koh T, Kwak S. Community and Communitarianism in Toni Morrison: Restoring the Self and Relating with the Other. Societies. 2021; 11(2):57. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/soc11020057

Chicago/Turabian Style

Koh, TaeJin, and Saera Kwak. 2021. "Community and Communitarianism in Toni Morrison: Restoring the Self and Relating with the Other" Societies 11, no. 2: 57. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/soc11020057

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