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n. a type of society (the literal meaning of this German word) or social group in which people feel relatively isolated from each other. Their relationships are primarily contractual in nature, being guided chiefly by rational self-interest and the logic of the marketplace. Compare Gemeinschaft. [first described in 1887 by German sociologist Ferdinand Julius Tönnies (1855–1936)]

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Psychology term of the day

May 21st 2024



n. in the analytic psychology of Carl Jung, the public face an individual presents to the outside world, in contrast to more deeply rooted and authentic personality characteristics. This sense has now passed into popular usage. The term is taken from the mask worn by actors in Roman antiquity.