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Collectivism is a value that is characterized by emphasis on cohesiveness among individuals and prioritization of the group over the self. Individuals or groups that subscribe to a collectivist worldview tend to find common values and goals as particularly salientand demonstrate greater orientation toward in-group than toward out-group. The term "in-group" is thought to be more diffusely defined for collectivist individuals to include societal units ranging from the nuclear family to a religious or racial/ethnic group.
The German sociologist Ferdinand Tönnies described an early model of collectivism and individualism using the terms Gemeinschaft (community) and Gesellschaft (society).Gemeinschaft relationships, in which communalism is prioritized, were thought to be characteristic of small, rural village communities. An anthropologist, Redfield (1941) echoed this notion in work contrasting folk society with urban society.
Ferdinand Tönnies was a German sociologist and philosopher. He was a major contributor to sociological theory and field studies, best known for his distinction between two types of social groups, Gemeinschaft and Gesellschaft. He co-founded the German Society for Sociology, of which he was president from 1909 to 1933, after which he was ousted for having criticized the Nazis. Tönnies was considered the first German sociologist proper, published over 900 works and contributed to many areas of sociology and philosophy.
Max Weber (1930) contrasted collectivism and individualism through the lens of religion, believing that Protestants were more individualistic and self-reliant compared to Catholics, who endorsed hierarchical, interdependent relationships among people.Hofstede (1980) was highly influential in ushering in an era of cross-cultural research making comparisons along the dimension of collectivism versus individualism. Hofstede conceptualized collectivism and individualism as part of a single continuum, with each cultural construct representing an opposite pole. The author characterized individuals that endorsed a high degree of collectivism as being embedded in their social contexts and prioritizing communal goals over individual goals.
Maximilian Karl Emil Weber was a German sociologist, philosopher, jurist, and political economist. His ideas profoundly influenced social theory and social research. Weber is often cited, with Émile Durkheim and Karl Marx, as among the three founders of sociology. Weber was a key proponent of methodological anti-positivism, arguing for the study of social action through interpretive means, based on understanding the purpose and meaning that individuals attach to their own actions. Unlike Durkheim, he did not believe in mono-causality and rather proposed that for any outcome there can be multiple causes.
Gerard Hendrik (Geert) Hofstede is a Dutch social psychologist, former IBM employee, and Professor Emeritus of Organizational Anthropology and International Management at Maastricht University in the Netherlands, well known for his pioneering research on cross-cultural groups and organizations.
The construct of collectivism is represented in empirical literature under several different names. Most commonly, the term interdependent self-construal is used.Other phrases used to describe the concept of collectivism-individualism include allocentrism-idiocentrism, collective-private self, as well as subtypes of collectivism-individualism (meaning, vertical and horizontal subtypes). Inconsistent terminology is thought to account for some of the difficulty in effectively synthesizing the empirical literature on collectivism.
In one critical model of collectivism, Markus and Kitayamadescribe the interdependent (i.e., collectivistic) self as fundamentally connected to the social context. As such, one's sense of self depends on and is defined in part by those around them and is primarily manifested in public, overt behavior. As such, the organization of the self is guided by using others as a reference. That is, an interdependent individual uses the unexpressed thoughts, feelings, and beliefs of another person with whom they have a relationship with, as well as the other person's behaviors, to make decisions about their own internal attributes and actions.
Markus and Kitayama also contributed to the literature by challenging Hofstede's unidimensional model of collectivism-individualism.The authors conceptualized these two constructs bidimensionally, such that both collectivism and individualism can be endorsed independently and potentially to the same degree. This notion has been echoed by other prominent theorists in the field.
Some researchers have expanded the collectivism-individualism framework to include a more comprehensive view. Specifically, Triandis and colleagues introduced a theoretical model in which incorporates the notion of relational contexts.The authors argues that the domains of collectivism and individualism can be further described by horizontal and vertical relationships. Horizontal relationships are believed to be status-equal whereas vertical relationships are characterized as hierarchical and status-unequal. As such, horizontal collectivism is manifested as an orientation in which group harmony is highly valued and in-group members are perceived to experience equal standing. Vertical collectivism involves the prioritization of group goals over individual goals, implying a hierarchical positioning of the self in relation to the overarching in-group. The horizontal-vertical individualism-collectivism model has received empirical support and has been used to explore patterns within cultures.
Originated by W. E. B. DuBois,some researchers have adopted a historical perspective on the emergence of collectivism among some cultural groups. DuBois and others argued that oppressed minority groups contend with internal division, meaning that the development of self-identity for individuals from these groups involves the integration of one's own perceptions of their group as well as typically negative, societal views of their group. This division is thought to impact goal formation such that people from marginalized groups tend to emphasize collectivistic over individualistic values.
Some organizational research has found different variations of collectivism. These include institutional collectivism and in-group collectivism. Institutional collectivism is the idea that a work environment creates a sense of collectivist nature due to similar statuses and similar rewards, such as earning the same salary. In-group collectivism is the idea that an individual's chosen group of people, such as family or friend groups, create a sense of collectivist nature.In-group collectivism can be referred to as family collectivism.
Cultural views are believed to have a reciprocal relationship with macro-level processes such as economics, social change, and politics.Societal changes in the People's Republic of China exemplifies this well. Beginning in the early 1980s, China experienced dramatic expansion of economic and social structures, resulting in greater income inequality between families, less involvement of the government in social welfare programs, and increased competition for employment. Corresponding with these changes was a shift in ideology among Chinese citizens, especially among those who were younger, away from collectivism (the prevailing cultural ideology) toward individualism. China also saw this shift reflected in educational policies, such that teachers were encouraged to promote the development of their students’ individual opinions and self-efficacy, which prior to the aforementioned economic changes, was not emphasized in Chinese culture.
Attempts to study the association of collectivism and political views and behaviors has largely occurred at the aggregate national level. However, more isolated political movements have also adopted a collectivistic framework. For example, Collectivist anarchism (also known as anarcho-collectivism) is a revolutionaryanarchist doctrine that advocates the abolition of both the state and private ownership of the means of production. It instead envisions the means of production being owned collectively and controlled and managed by the producers themselves.
Cross-cultural studies, sometimes called holocultural studies or comparative studies, is a specialization in anthropology and sister sciences that uses field data from many societies to examine the scope of human behavior and test hypotheses about human behavior and culture.
Power distance is the strength of societal social hierarchy—the extent to which the lower ranking individuals of a society accept and expect that power is distributed unequally. It is primarily used in psychological and sociological studies on societal management of inequalities between individuals, and individual's perceptions of that management. People in societies with a high power distance are more likely to conform to a hierarchy where "everybody has a place and which needs no further justification". In societies with a low power distance, individuals tend to try to distribute power equally. In such societies, inequalities of power among people would require additional justification.
The evaluation apprehension theory was proposed by Nickolas B. Cottrell in 1972. He argued that we quickly learn that the social rewards and punishments that we receive from other people are based on their evaluations of us. On this basis, our arousal may be modulated. In other words, performance will be enhanced or impaired only in the presence of persons who can approve or disapprove of our actions.
Cultural psychology is the study of how cultures reflect and shape the psychological processes of their members.
In sociology, a social organization is a pattern of relationships between and among individuals and social groups.
The concept of self-confidence self-assurance in one's personal judgment, ability, power, etc. One's self confidence increases from experiences of having mastered particular activities. It is a positive belief that in the future one can generally accomplish what one wishes to do. Self-confidence is not the same as self-esteem, which is an evaluation of one's own worth, whereas self-confidence is more specifically trust in one's ability to achieve some goal, which one meta-analysis suggested is similar to generalization of self-efficacy. Abraham Maslow and many others after him have emphasized the need to distinguish between self-confidence as a generalized personality characteristic, and self-confidence with respect to a specific task, ability or challenge. Self-confidence typically refers to general self-confidence. This is different from self-efficacy, which psychologist Albert Bandura has defined as a “belief in one’s ability to succeed in specific situations or accomplish a task” and therefore is the term that more accurately refers to specific self-confidence. Psychologists have long noted that a person can possess self-confidence that he or she can complete a specific task (self-efficacy) even though they may lack general self-confidence, or conversely be self-confident though they lack the self-efficacy to achieve a particular task. These two types of self-confidence are, however, correlated with each other, and for this reason can be easily conflated.
Social identity is the portion of an individual's self-concept derived from perceived membership in a relevant social group. As originally formulated by social psychologists Henri Tajfel and John Turner in the 1970s and the 1980s, social identity theory introduced the concept of a social identity as a way in which to explain intergroup behaviour.
Cross-cultural psychology is the scientific study of human behavior and mental processes, including both their variability and invariance, under diverse cultural conditions. Through expanding research methodologies to recognize cultural variance in behavior, language, and meaning it seeks to extend and develop psychology. Since psychology as an academic discipline was developed largely in North America and Europe, some psychologists became concerned that constructs accepted as universal were not as invariant as previously assumed, especially since many attempts to replicate notable experiments in other cultures had varying success. Since there are questions as to whether theories dealing with central themes, such as affect, cognition, conceptions of the self, and issues such as psychopathology, anxiety, and depression, may lack external validity when "exported" to other cultural contexts, cross-cultural psychology re-examines them using methodologies designed to factor in cultural differences so as to account for cultural variance. Although some critics have pointed to methodological flaws in cross-cultural psychological research and claim that serious shortcomings in the theoretical and methodological bases used impede rather than help the scientific search for universal principles in psychology, cross-cultural psychologists are turning more to the study of how differences (variance) occur, rather than searching for universals in the style of physics or chemistry.
According to some theories, emotions are universal phenomena, albeit affected by culture. Emotions are "internal phenomena that can, but do not always, make themselves observable through expression and behavior". While some emotions are universal and are experienced in similar ways as a reaction to similar events across all cultures, other emotions show considerable cultural differences in their antecedent events, the way they are experienced, the reactions they provoke and the way they are perceived by the surrounding society. According to other theories, termed social constructionist, emotions are more deeply culturally influenced. The components of emotions are universal, but the patterns are social constructions. Some also theorize that culture is affected by emotions of the people.
Face-Negotiation Theory is a theory conceived by Stella Ting-Toomey in 1985, to understand how people from different cultures manage rapport and disagreements. The theory posited "face", or self-image when communicating with others, as a universal phenomenon that pervades across cultures. In conflicts, one's face is threatened; and thus the person tends to save or restore his or her face. This set of communicative behaviors, according to the theory, is called "facework". Since people frame the situated meaning of "face" and enact "facework" differently from one culture to the next, the theory poses a cultural-general framework to examine facework negotiation. It is important to note that the definition of face varies depending on the people and their culture and the same can be said for the proficiency of facework.
Cross-cultural psychology attempts to understand how individuals of different cultures interact with each other. Along these lines, cross-cultural leadership has developed as a way to understand leaders who work in the newly globalized market. Today’s international organizations require leaders who can adjust to different environments quickly and work with partners and employees of other cultures. It cannot be assumed that a manager who is successful in one country will be successful in another.
Hofstede's cultural dimensions theory is a framework for cross-cultural communication, developed by Geert Hofstede. It describes the effects of a society's culture on the values of its members, and how these values relate to behavior, using a structure derived from factor analysis.
Global Leadership is the interdisciplinary study of the key elements that future leaders in all realms of the personal experience should acquire to effectively familiarize themselves with the psychological, physiological, geographical, geopolitical, anthropological and sociological effects of globalization. Global leadership occurs when an individual or individuals navigate collaborative efforts of different stakeholders through environmental complexity towards a vision by leveraging a global mindset. As a result of trends, starting with colonialism and perpetuated by the increase in mass media, innovation, a host of meaningful new concerns face mankind; consisting of but not limited to: human enterprises toward peace, international business design, and significant shifts in geopolitical paradigms. The talent and insight it will take leaders to successfully navigate humanity through these developments have been collectively focused around the phenomenon of globalization in order to embrace and effectively guide the evolution of mankind through the continued blurring and integration of national, economic and social strategies.
Allocentrism is a collectivistic personality attribute whereby people center their attention and actions on other people rather than themselves. It is a psychological dimension which corresponds to the general cultural dimension of collectivism. In fact, allocentrics "believe, feel, and act very much like collectivists do around the world." Allocentric people tend to be interdependent, define themselves in terms of the group that they are part of, and behave according to that group's cultural norms. They tend to have a sense of duty and share beliefs with other allocentrics among their in-group. Allocentric people appear to see themselves as an extension of their in-group and allow their own goals to be subsumed by the in-group's goals. Additionally, allocentrism has been defined as giving priority to the collective self over the private self, particularly if these two selves happen to come into conflict.
Decision-making is a mental activity which is an integral part of planning and action taking in a variety of contexts and at a vast range of levels, including, but not limited to, budget planning, education planning, policy making, and climbing the career ladder. People all over the world engage in these activities. The underlying cross-cultural differences in decision-making can be a great contributing factor to efficiency in cross-cultural communications, negotiations, and conflict resolution.
Cultural differences can interact with positive psychology to create great variation, potentially impacting positive psychology interventions. Culture influences how people seek psychological help, their definitions of social structure, and coping strategies.
Culture influences the way humans think about, look at, express and define their worlds Culture also appears to influence the way people experience depression. Research shows that individual’s experience with depression can vary from country to country For example, a qualitative study revealed that some countries did not recognize post-natal depression as an illness; rather, it was viewed as a state of unhappiness that did not require any health interventions.
Naïve dialecticism is a collection of East Asian public beliefs characterized by the acceptance of contradiction and the expectation of change in everyday life. Within cultural psychology, naïve dialecticism explains some of the cultural differences observed between those who hold dialectical beliefs and those who hold more Westernized beliefs. Individuals who hold dialectical beliefs are primarily members of Confucian influenced cultures, such as in Japan, China, and Korea. Certain researchers have shown that specific aspects of naïve dialecticism have broad implications on cognition, emotion, and behavior. As well, it is sometimes regarded as being more contextual, flexible, holistic, and dialectical as compared with Western thinking and reasoning. Dialecticism is a perceptual framework that applies to all situations and guides all actions, which is called a domain-general thinking style. Naïve dialecticism is an expansion on this research; it is a whole collection of domain-specific beliefs, meaning that there is a tendency to understand a situation in terms of these beliefs but there is variation depending on the context and individual differences
In psychology, invisible support is a type of social support in which supportive exchanges are not visible to recipients. There are two possible situations that can qualify as acts of invisible support. The first possibility entails a situation where "recipients are completely unaware of the supportive transaction between themselves and support-givers". For example, a spouse may choose to spontaneously take care of housework without mentioning it to the other couple-member. Invisible support also occurs when "recipients are aware of an act that takes place but do not interpret the act as a supportive exchange". In this case, a friend or family member may subtly provide advice in an indirect manner as a means to preserve the recipient's self-esteem or to defer his or her attention from a stressful situation. Invisible support can be viewed on both ends of an exchange, in which the recipient is unaware of the support received and the provider enacts support in a skillful, subtle way.
Harry Charalambos Triandis was Professor Emeritus at the Department of Psychology of the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign. He was considered a pioneer of cross-cultural psychology and his research focused on the cognitive aspects of attitudes, norms, roles and values in different cultures.