Dividuals are not Individuals. Personality Before and After Modernity

Dividuals are not Individuals. Personality Before and After Modernity

Shipilov A.V.

Dr. Sci. (Culturol.), Prof., Department of Philosophy, Economics, Social and Humanitarian Disciplines, Voronezh State Pedagogical University, Voronezh, Russia andshipilo@yandex.ru

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Shipilov A.V. Dividuals are not Individuals. Personality Before and After Modernity. Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological Studies]. 2021. No 12. P. 91-100


The article discusses the issue of the dominant personality type and identity in premodern, modern and post-modern societies. The thesis is put forward that the personality of the postmodernity is different from the personality of the modernity and is similar to the personality of the premodernity. In contrast to the modern society of the Gesellschaft type – society, the premodern society as conceptualized by F. Tönnies is Gemeinschaft – community, the integral characteristic of which is unitiveness – undifferentiation. In a community, the individual is dissolved in a social environment, his/her self is consubstantial with the transgenerative self of the group – family, clan, totem, etc. The most striking example of this is the longest history of hunter-gatherer sociality. At the same time, in accordance with the principle of metacontrast, a primitive individual, minimally separated from the external, is maximally divided internally: his personality/identity is plural, which finds its expression in the fact of a plurality of names and the idea of a plurality of souls of each individual. Therefore, he/ she should be viewed not as an individual, but as a dividual. These include not only archaic foragers, but also members of the post-industrial/network/information society. They, in contrast to the integral individuality of modernity, according to a number of sociological theories and observations, are not individuals and have multiple identities. The displacement of individuality by dividuality can be thought of as a tendency to re-archaization of postmodern sociality, due to the development of information and communication technologies, which makes its sociality similar to premodernity.

modern; premodern; postmodern; society; community; individual; dividual
Content No 12, 2021