Rethinking Individualism-Collectivism: From Self vs. the Collective to Weak vs. Strong Identification with Both the Self and the Collective

Research output: Working paper

Abstract

Literature on individualism and collectivism suggests that in individualistic societies individuals are distinct entities with needs, identities and rights whereas in collectivist societies individuals are portrayed as subsuming their selves to the group in which they belong. Even though these differences explain much of the social behaviour in these two ideal types of societies, they fail to account for the atomistic and competitive behaviour of actors in many collectivist societies. Here I argue that framing the difference between individualistic and collectivist societies not as the focus on the individual in the former and the collective in the latter but rather as the intensity of identification felt and often displayed at both the individual and collective levels better explains observed differences.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusSubmitted - 2019

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Individualism
Collectivism
Ideal Types
Entity

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title = "Rethinking Individualism-Collectivism: From Self vs. the Collective to Weak vs. Strong Identification with Both the Self and the Collective",
abstract = "Literature on individualism and collectivism suggests that in individualistic societies individuals are distinct entities with needs, identities and rights whereas in collectivist societies individuals are portrayed as subsuming their selves to the group in which they belong. Even though these differences explain much of the social behaviour in these two ideal types of societies, they fail to account for the atomistic and competitive behaviour of actors in many collectivist societies. Here I argue that framing the difference between individualistic and collectivist societies not as the focus on the individual in the former and the collective in the latter but rather as the intensity of identification felt and often displayed at both the individual and collective levels better explains observed differences.",
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