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I was reading an article about high density housing and/or constantly being online and came across a single word I had to check the dictionary for and it was used to mean "the absence of a community spirit".

e.g. "The x caused by the complex housing situation."

I have had no luck with antonyms for community or synonyms for diaspora.

I can no longer remember the word or the article.

It may mean the degradation of community or the circumstances preventing it. What word is used to define this asocial vacuum?

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  • Apparently, 'unwarmheartedness' is in the lexis. But it's not a realistic choice. 'Antipathy' is too far to the antagonistic end of the spectrum, and 'apathy' too broadly defined. May 13, 2023 at 16:12
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    Can you recollect any finer detail to the definition? I have Oxford, New American Oxford, Duden, Standard, Webster's 1913, Oxford Thesaurus, etc. dictionaries in a database that I performed a reverse lookup on, i.e. checking the definition to find the word, and came up empty on any word whose definition contained both "community" and "absence". "Community spirit" was an entry, but no antonym for it is provided.
    – Biblasia
    May 13, 2023 at 16:29
  • @Biblasia I'm not sure of the precise wording. It may have been to do with the ethos that comes out of an active community. It may have mentioned healthcare as an example of e.g. the NHS.
    – StuperUser
    May 13, 2023 at 16:50
  • An imperfectly matcching word is "indifference" (i.e. lack of concern).
    – Graffito
    May 13, 2023 at 16:51
  • "Diaspora"? Did you mean synonyms of "dystopia"? May 13, 2023 at 19:26

3 Answers 3

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inertia

lack of activity or interest, or unwillingness to make an effort to do anything:

ex. "The organization is stifled by bureaucratic inertia."

Cambridge

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Some words in my brainstorm list:

  • standoffishness
  • aloofness
  • vigilantism
  • animosity
  • hostility
  • withdrawal
  • unsociability
  • unsociableness
  • coolness
  • coldness
  • apathy
  • strife
  • inhospitableness
  • inhospitality
  • separatism
  • detachment
  • introversion
  • segregational
  • underdevelopment

Many of these have "community" in their definitions, but this is not an exhaustive list (there are hundreds of entries in the dictionary containing "community" in the definition). I suspect there may be another word choice that would yield a closer match. Hopefully the list may help to jog your memory.

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  • You may add asocialism and individualism.
    – Graffito
    May 13, 2023 at 18:22
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anomie

a state of no moral or social principles in a person or in society:

ex. "Individual- and area-level risk factors for suicide are relatively well-understood but the role of macro social factors such as alienation, social fragmentation or ‘anomie’ is relatively underresearched."

The article was Suicide rates and voting choice in the UK's 2016 national Brexit referendum on European Union membership: cross-sectional ecological investigation across England's local authority populations.

Cambridge, Britannica

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    It turns out I had conflated the absence of values with the absence of community.
    – StuperUser
    May 13, 2023 at 18:36

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