In the behavioural sciences, collectivism is a type of social
behaviour that prioritizes the group over the individual. Continue reading to
learn more about collectivist culture.
What Exactly Is a Collectivist Culture?
A collectivist culture is defined in cross-cultural
psychology as a community that prioritizes the group over the individual.
Collectivistic cultures value personality traits and attributes such as
cohesion, harmony, duty, interdependence, group goal achievement, and conflict
avoidance. Many Asian cultures, including those in China, South Korea, and
Japan, are collectivist.
Geert Hofstede, a Dutch social scientist, developed the
concept of collective culture through his research on cultural dimensions.
Shinobu Kitayama and Hazel Rose Markus are two other notable researchers in the
Individualistic cultures, which prioritize the individual
over the collective group, are the polar opposite of collectivist cultures.
Individualistic cultures value characteristics such as uniqueness, self-esteem,
independence, and privacy. Individualism is prevalent in many Western cultures;
examples of individualist countries include the United States and the United
Advantages of a Collectivist Culture
There are several advantages to collectivism, including:
Greater unity and harmony: Because people in collectivist
societies value the group dynamic, there is a greater sense of togetherness and
Increased sense of support: People in collectivist societies
have a stronger network of friends, close family members, and extended family
members who will support them during difficult times.
Stronger sense of empathy: Members of collectivist societies
spend more of their time and energy thinking about others rather than
themselves, resulting in a culture with a much stronger sense of empathy and
consideration for others.
The Drawbacks of a Collectivist Culture
Collectivism has a number of drawbacks, including:
Less diversity is celebrated: Because collectivist countries
prioritize the group, they place less emphasis on individual uniqueness or
diversity, and collectivism frequently celebrates homogeneity, similarity, and
adherence to cultural norms rather than differences in personality or cultural
Less encouragement of self-expression: Because collectivism
prioritizes the will of the group over the individual, self-expression is not
strongly encouraged, and many group members may remain silent to allow better
decision-making for the entire community.
Little focus on personal development: Personal
development is emphasized less in collectivist communities because members
spend less time thinking about themselves, resulting in less emphasis on
personal development or individual goals.
Individualistic Culture vs. Collectivist Culture
In social psychology, the individualism-collectivism divide
defines two distinct community cultures that differ in the following ways:
The primary emphasis is: Collectivist and individualist
cultures are fundamentally opposed community models with opposing emphases and significant
cultural differences. Individualistic cultures prioritize the well-being of the
individual over the well-being of the group, whereas collective cultures
prioritize the well-being of the group.
Cognition: According to social science research, people in
collectivist cultures take a more holistic approach to cognition, whereas
people in individualistic cultures prioritize analytical thinking over all
other cognitive abilities.
Emotional display: Collectivist cultures may encourage
people to hide their emotions and avoid conflict, whereas individualistic
cultures are more comfortable displaying emotion and discussing conflict.
Collectivist societies: They are typically more unified and
harmonious than individualist societies.
Values: Collectivism emphasizes in-group values such as
cohesion, interdependence, and conflict avoidance, whereas individualistic
cultures emphasize cultural values such as uniqueness, self-expression, and