Any of several types of social organization that ascribe central importance to the groups to which individuals belong (e.g., state, nation, ethnic group, or social class). It may be contrasted with individualism. Jean-Jacques Rousseau was the first modern philosopher to discuss it (1762). Karl Marx was its most forceful proponent in the 19th century. Communism, fascism, and socialism may all be termed collectivist systems. See also communitarianism; kibbutz; moshav.
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