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 salient and 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.
Origins and historical perspectivesEdit
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.
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.
Terminology and measurementEdit
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 Kitayama describe 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 is a revolutionary anarchist 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.
- Schwartz, S. H. (1990). "Individualism–collectivism: Critique and proposed refinements". Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology. 21 (2): 139–157.
- Oyserman, D. (1993). "The lens of personhood: Viewing the self, others, and conflict in a multicultural society". Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 65 (5): 993–1009.
- Hui, C. H. (1988). "Measurement of individualism–collectivism". Journal of Research in Personality. 22: 17–36.
- Triandis, H. C. (1995). Individualism and Collectivism. Boulder, CO: Westview Press.
- F. Tönnies (1957). Community and association. Harper Torchbooks.
- Redfield, Robert (1941). The folk culture of Yucatán. University of Chicago Press.
- M. Weber (1930). The Protestant ethic and the spirit of capitalism. New York: Routledge.
- Hofstede, G. (1980). Culture's consequences. Beverly Hills: Sage.
- Markus, H. R., & Kitayama, S. (1991). "Culture and the self: Implications for cognition, emotion, and motivation". Psychological Review. 98 (2): 224–253. CiteSeerX 10.1.1.320.1159. doi:10.1037/0033-295x.98.2.224.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
- Triandis, H. C. (1983). Allocentric vs. idiocentric social behavior: A major cultural difference between Hispanics and mainstream (Technical reports). Champaign: Department of Psychology, University of Illinois.
- Trafimow, D., Triandis, H. C., & Goto, S. G. (1991). "Some tests of the distinction between the private self and the collective self". Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 60 (5): 649–665. doi:10.1037/0022-35220.127.116.119.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
- Triandis, H. C., Bhawuk, D. P. S., & Gelfand, M. J. (1995). "Horizontal and vertical dimensions of individualism and collectivism: A theoretical and measurement refinement". Cross-Cultural Research. 29 (3): 240–275. doi:10.1177/106939719502900302.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
- Taras; et al. (2014). "Opposite Ends of the Same Stick? Multi-Method Test of the Dimensionality of Individualism and Collectivism". Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology. 45 (2): 213–245. doi:10.1177/0022022113509132.
- Markus, H. R., & Kitayma, S. (2010). "Cultures and selves: A cycle of mutual constitution". Perspectives on Psychological Science. 5 (4): 420–430. doi:10.1177/1745691610375557. PMID 26162188.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
- Singelis, T. (1994). "The measurement of independent and interdependent self-construal". Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. 20 (5): 580–591. doi:10.1177/0146167294205014.
- Triandis, H. C. (1994). INDCOL (Unpublished research scale on individualism and collectivism). Champaign: University of Illinois.
- Singelis, T. M., Triandis, H. C., Bhawuk, D. P. S., & Gelfand, M. J. (1995). "Horizontal and vertical dimensions of individualism and collectivism: A theoretical and measurement refinement". Cross-Cultural Research. 29 (3): 240–275. doi:10.1177/106939719502900302.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
- Komarraju, M., & Cokley, K. O. (2008). "Horizontal and vertical dimensions of individualism–collectivism: A comparison of African Americans and European Americans". Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology. 14 (4): 336–343. doi:10.1037/1099-9809.14.4.336. PMID 18954169.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
- Lalwani, A. K., Shavitt, S., & Johnson, T. (2006). "What is the relation between cultural orientation and socially desirable responding?". Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 90 (1): 165–178. CiteSeerX 10.1.1.561.5342. doi:10.1037/0022-3518.104.22.168. PMID 16448316.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
- DuBois, W. E. B. (1969) . The souls of Black folk. New York: Signet.
- Gaines, Jr., S. O., & Reed, E. S. (1995). "Prejudice: From Allport to DuBois". American Psychologist. 50 (2): 96–103. doi:10.1037/0003-066x.50.2.96.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
- Asante, M. K. (1981). "Black male and female relationships: An Afrocentric context". In Gray, L. (ed.). Black men. Beverly Hills: Sage. pp. 75–82.
- Marin, G., & Marin, B. V. (1991). Research with Hispanic populations. Newbury Park: Sage.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
- White, J. L., & Parham, T. A. (1990). The psychology of Blacks: An African American perspective. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
- Wiggins, J. S. (1991). "Agency and communion as conceptual coordinates for the understanding and measurement of interpersonal behavior". In W. Grove & D. Cicchetti (ed.). Thinking clearly about psychology. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
- House, Robert J.; Hanges, Paul J.; Javidan, Mansour; Dorfman, Peter W.; Gupta, Vipin (2004). Culture, Leadership, and Organizations. Sage Publications, Inc. p. 12.
- Brewer, Paul; Venaik, Sunil (April 2011). "Individualism-Collectivism in Hofstede and GLOBE". Journal of International Business Studies. 42 (3): 436–445. doi:10.1057/jibs.2010.62. JSTOR 29789431.
- Inglehart, R. (1990). Culture Shift in Advanced Industrial Society. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
- Inglehart, R. (1997). Modernization and Postmodernization: Cultural, Economic, and Political Change in 43 Societies. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
- Zhang, W. W. (2000). Transforming China: Economic reform and its political implications. New York: St. Martin's Press.
- Cai, X., & Wu, P. (1999). "A study of the modernity of social concept of younger students in China". Psychological Science. 22: 148–152.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
- Huang, M. (1999). "A comparative study of the value outlook of Chinese adolescent students". Journal of Southwest China Normal University (Philosophy and Social Sciences). 25: 83–88.
- Xu, X., & Peng, L. (2001). "Reflection on parents' educational beliefs in the new century". Theory and Practice of Education. 21: 62–63.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
- Yu, R. (2002). "On the reform of elementary school education in China". Educational Exploration. 129: 56–57.
- Patsouras, Louis. 2005. Marx in Context. iUniverse. p. 54