Contrasting Individualism And Collectivism Essay

621 words - 2 pages

Lukes (1973) first introduced the constructs of collectivism and individualism. Collectivism centers on the collective group and values interdependence, whilst individualism centers on the
individual and values independence (Luke,1973). In a literature review, Triandis (1993) introduced the idea of collectivism and individualism as `cultural syndromes´. He identifies a cultural
syndrome as the tendency of little within-group variance for cultural elements such as values, norms and beliefs within a group which also shares language and geographical location, when these
elements centre on a particular theme.
There is considerable evidence for the links between Western societies and individualism and between Eastern cultures and collectivism (Heinrich, Heine & Norenzayan, 2010). Triandis, McCusker & Hui (1990) found that members of Eastern cultures perceive their in-group as more homogenous than the out-group, compared to members of Western cultures. Furthermore, they found that members of Eastern cultures value the well being of the in-group over their personal goals, whilst members of Western cultures typically value the individuals welfare and goals over the well being of their in-group. Examples of Western cultures that have been found to have high levels of individualism are Germany (Darwish & Huber, 2003), the US (Kim & Markus, 1999), Norway (Birkelund, 2000; Syverstad, 2009), Australia, Great Britain and France (Hosfstede, 1980).
Smith and Bond (1993) suggest acculturation is constantly proceeding in the direction of individualism, consequently moving away from collectivistic values. In support of this, a
longitudinal study by Hofstede (1980) found that individualism significantly increased over four years, across forty countries. Furthermore, individualism is commonly referred to as a product of the modernized society (Heinrich et al., 2010), which, is supported by statistical tendencies of
individualistic themes in Western cultures and collectivistic themes in Eastern cultures (Triandis, 1993), as well as the rapid increase in individualistic attitudes across cultures (Hofstede, 1980). In support of this, Hofstede (1980) found evidence that modernity of a...

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