collective conscience

(noun) A group’s or society’s commonly shared fundamental beliefs, customs, norms, and values.

Examples:

  1. Gender norms concerning how people dress and act.
  2. Laws that socialize people into what is “right and wrong” in their society.
  3. Rituals such parades for holidays and weddings.
  4. Spectators standing before a sporting event to hear a national anthem such as “The Star-Spangled Banner” in the United States which reinforces patriotism and solidarity.

Audio Pronunciation: (col·lec·tive con·science)

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Usage Notes:

  • Plural: collective consciences
  • Developed by Émile Durkheim (1858–1917) starting in Division of Labour in Society (1893).
  • Collective consciousness informs an individual’s sense of belonging and identity.
  • The collective consciousness of a group or society are relived, shared, and passed on by holidays, myths, rituals, and stories.
  • Also called:
    • collective conscience
    • collective conscious
    • collective memory
    • common consciousness
    • conscience collective

Related Terms: 

 


Works Consulted

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Wikipedia contributors. (N.d.) Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation. (https://en.wikipedia.org/).