论文发表
联系我们

找论文变得更简单!

帮找论文

当前位置:

重点论文网    文科论文    英语论文    美国个人主义初探
创建时间:10-17

美国个人主义初探

一、综述国内外对本课题的研究动态,说明选题的依据和意义:
胡文仲教授(1992)指出,不了解美国的个人主义就不可能理解美国人的行为。个人主义已经渗透到美国的政治、经济、文化、社会生活及价值观念等各方面。因此,研究美国的个人主义价值观,有助于我们对美国社会的理解。 在国内外,有胡适、李其荣、约翰•杜威、哈耶克、萨瓦姆等一大批学者对此做出了大量的探讨与研究。胡适强调自由思想的核心是个人主义,个人主义是推动西方社会进步的强大动力;萨瓦姆认为美国个人主义的基本内容是自主动机,自主抉择,通过自力更生达到自我实现,个人主义是美国社会文化的核心,丢弃个人主义就是丢弃美国文化的根本。在当今全球化趋势下,美国强势文化对我们的传统文化形成了很大的冲击,如何在保留传统文化的同时学习西方进步的思想,这是我们面临的一个课题。本文依靠前人的研究方法和研究成果,试图在这方面做一些尝试性研究,讨论在当今全球化的背景下,我们如何看待、评价和借鉴美国个人主义,以了解美国文化的根本。


二、研究的基本内容,拟解决的主要问题:
本文通过对相关文献的研究,在前人研究成果的基础上,试图从美国个人主义的渊源与内涵、个人主义对美国语言、文学和社会生活等方面的影响,正确评价美国个人主义,这些方面进行初步探讨。


三、研究的步骤、方法、措施及进度安排: 
1. 研究步骤:
(1)在指导老师的帮助下,通过网络资源以及图书馆的资料,收集所写论题的相关文献,了解国内外对美国个人主义方面的研究状态和研究成果,确定论文题目;
(2)整理、总结和综合已有资料,写出论文提纲; 
(3)收集大量相关文献,理清论文思路与脉络;
(4)综合已有的资料,完成了开题报告;在指导老师的指导下,完善论文提纲;从美国个人主义的渊源与含义、个人主义对美国语言、文学和社会生活文化等方面的影响,如何评价美国个人主义,此四个方面进行阐述,完成初稿,并交由指导老师审阅;
(5)根据指导老师的修改意见,反复修改开题报告,进一步完善论文的结构和内容;
(6)交第二稿、审稿、最后定稿答辩。

2. 方法及措施:
通过图书馆、互联网以及指导老师所提供的资料,查找相关领域的参考文献;指导老师的帮助和指导;同学之间的交流与沟通。

3. 进度安排:
 

四、主要参考文献:
[1] Bellah, N.R. The Broken Covenant:American Civil Religion in Time of Trial. New York: The Seabury Press, 1975.
[2] Bock, J. & R. Kranz. Scholastic Encyclopedia of the United States. Washington: Scholastic Press, 1997.
[3] Clinton, B. Between Hope and History. Washington: Random House, 1996.
[4] Degler, N.C. Out of Our Past. New York: Harper Perennial, 1983 
[5] Lukes, S. Individualism. Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1973.
[6] Morris, W. The American Heritage Dictionary. 4th ed. New York: Houghton Miffilin Company, 2006.
[7] Samovar, A.L. Intercultural Communication: A Reader .Huston: Wadsworth Publishing, 1997. 
[8] Simpson, J. & E. Weiner. The Oxford English Dictionary. 2nd ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002.
[9] Tocqueville, D. Democracy in America. London: Penguin Classics, 1999.
[10] 胡文仲:《文化与交际》。北京:外语教学与研究出版社,1994年。 
[11] 孙维学:《美国文化》。北京:文化艺术出版社,2004年。
[12] 汪波:《当代美国文化透视》。合肥:安徽大学出版社,1997年。
[13] 王恩铭:《美国文化与社会》。上海:上海外语教育出版社,2003年。
[14] 吴斐:《美国社会与文化》。武汉:武汉大学出版社,2003年。


Contents

Introduction…………………………………………………………….…….…1
1 The Development of American Individualism…………………………..……1
 1.1 The Protestant Origin of American Individualism………………..………1
1.2 The Connation of American Individualism………………….……………3
 1.3 The Definition of American Individualism………………….……………3
  1.4 Distinction between “Individualism” and “Egoism”…………..…………3
2 Reflections of American Individualism……………………………….………4
  2.1 Language…………………………………………………………..……..4
  2.2 Literature………………………………………………………………….6
  2.3 Social life………………………………………………………………….6
3 How to Evaluate American Individualism……………………...…………….11
  3.1 The Positive Effects of Individualism…………………..……………….11
  3.2 The Problems Caused by Individualism…………………………………12
Conclusion………………………………………………………..……………13
Works Cited……………………………………………………………………14
Acknowledgements…………………………………………………………….15

 

Introduction 
“When I say I love the United States, it means that I love freedom and individualism”, said the American writer Robert N. Bellah (148). And the Chinese Professor Hu Wenzhong once indicated that we couldn’t really understand the behaviors of Americans until we truly understand American individualism (134). Indeed, individualism lies at the very core of American culture. It’s of much sense and necessity for us to probe into American individualism, which will benefit us very much when China moves fast toward the world and the whole world has been becoming more and more like a melting pot.
But, what is American individualism? How did it come into being? How has it been affecting American society? How do we evaluate and take advantage of it? In fact, many western and Chinese scholars have put great efforts on the research of American individualism, and gained a lot of fruits. This thesis will take a general survey of American individualism from the above four respects on the basis of the theory created by previous scholars.

1 The Development of American Individualism
Individualism is the outcome of the Renaissance in Europe in 17th century. However, it flourished in America in 18th century. American individualism rooted in the Puritan belief. Many scholars have given their explanations in terms of what American individualism is.
1.1 The Protestant Origin of American Individualism
According to the “Scholastic Encyclopedia of the United States”, in the English-speaking world, the earliest user of the word “individualism” might be the American naturalist philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson in 1835 (Bock 762). Emerson highly recommended individualism, reckoning it as a positive spirit that will do good to the development of the human nature as well as the society. As to the origin of individualism, American renowned historian Carl N. Degler states, in America, the belief and determination to resist any oppression on individuals or any violation against individual will, have never been weakened, and if the Americans are said to be individualists, then the Puritan tradition would be its main origin (266). 
Looking back to the American history, we will have no difficulty in finding that individualism has been accompanying America since the first group of Puritans immigrated to it. In 1602, with the heart to pursue religious freedom as well as best wishes for the future, the first group of pioneers (among them many Puritan believers) left Europe, crossed the Atlantic Ocean, underwent all hardships, and then reached the “New World”. It was them that became the ancestors of Americans. These Puritans believed that God was incomprehensible to man, and the power of God was all-knowing, yet hidden and unknown to man; human beings were predestined by God before they were born, some were God’s chosen people while others were predestined to damned to hell,and they were convinced that the success of one’s work or the prosperity in his calling was the sign of being God’s select, therefore, every one must work hard, spend little and invest for more business. Working hard and living a moral life were their ethnics. How could Puritans find God’s will and establish a direct contact with God? They concluded that the Bible was the authority of their doctrine, but not through the church or its priests. The Puritan belief was full of individual consciousness, which has built up foundation for American individualism. Besides the religious belief, the severe living environment at that time also helped the shaping of American individualism. Though they had broken from the shackles of the previous society and enjoyed religious freedom to the full, they found life so hard. So they were urged to struggle by their own hands and rely on themselves. In 1776, the new nation announced breaking from British monarchy, as well as the control of the old church. No doubt that the independence greatly promoted the nation to consolidate their belief in individualism and Protestant values that inherited from their ancestors. Since then, individualism has become the observance of American nation, and every American citizen dedicates to pursue his personal achievement. 

1.2 The Connation of American Individualism
We may have often heard of or used the word “individualism”, but actually not few of us are still confused with the meanings of individualism, or even have mistaken it for “egoism”. The following will deal with the two issues.
1.3 The Definition of Individualism 
We can probe into the connotation of individualism by the elucidation of some western scholars.
According to what “The Oxford English Dictionary” defines, “individualism” has the following meanings: 1) self-centered feeling or conduct as a principle; a mode of life in which the individual pursues his own ends or follows put his own ideas; free and independent individual action or thought; egoism; 2) the social theory which advocates the free and independent action of the individual, as opposed to communist methods of organization and state interference; 3) metaphor. The doctrine that the individual is a self-determined whole, and that any lager whole is merely an aggregate of individuals, which, if they act upon each other at all do so only externally; 4) =INDIVIDUALITY; 5) an individual peculiarity (J.Simpson 224).
And according to the “The American Heritage Dictionary”, “individualism” includes the following aspects: 1) belief in the primary importance of the individual and in the virtues of self-reliance and personal independence; 2) a doctrine of freedom from government regulation of personal economic or social goals; 3) the doctrine that the interests of the individual should take precedence over the interests of the group (Morris 656).
The noted French philosopher De Tocqueville wrote off the book “Democracy in America” after having inspected America for more than 9 months in the 1840s. In this book, he gave his explanations to the concept of Individualism as individualism is a nature and calm feeling, which disposes each member of the community to sever himself mass of his fellow-creatures, and to draw apart with his family and friends (287).
Although the term is used with many different shades of meaning, individualism is in its essence moral standard--an insistence that the needs and interests of each individual be placed at the very center of things.
1.4 Distinction between Individualism and Egoism
When Tocqueville put forward the word “individualism”, he consciously distinguished it from “egoism”. He pointed out that egoism is a kind of excessive loves for oneself that makes people only concern themselves with a clear conscience. Egoism also makes people isolate from masses, their relatives and friends (289).Tocqueville concluded that egoism is a vice, but individualism is the product of modern democracy (303).
“Individualism” and “egoism” are not of the same concept. As social and political philosophy, individualism stresses on personal independence and freedom, as well as getting free from limitations or control by society, political power or religion. In the eyes of Americans, individualism is a beautiful word, whereas, “egoism” is a derogatory term. Egoism is approximate to “selfish”, and mainly refers to the following ethnic behaviors: put their personal interests over that of the others or the public; seek and expand their personal interests on the expense of others’ or public interests, and so on. “Egoism is a kind of extreme individualism contrary to the ethnics” (367).

2 Reflections of American Individualism 
 

免费下载论文全文请咨询QQ:8764171

网站导航

最新论文

网站导航

在线咨询

免费咨询:8764171

 

论文发表:136721112

 

联系电话:18885001167

 

微信号码:18885001167