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Individualism v/s Collectivism

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Individualism v/s Collectivism

For centuries, societies have always been confused about choosing the right mode of living. Individualism and collectivism are synonyms of each other, both being on the extreme ends. One explains how a society should live together to benefit each other using collective expertise while the other talks about the importance of individualism, the right of independence and self responsibility.

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Imagine a society where each person lives for his own benefits. Where all matters to an individual is his own development.

 Individualism is present in the society in which individuals are loosely tied to one another. They are expected to look after themselves as well as their immediate family. (Hofstede, Geert (1994), pg. 261).

In such a society every individual has its own separate entity and identity; he makes his own choices and decisions and is solely responsible for them. Each individual takes initiatives on his own and for his personal well being. Taking an example of the student, it is decision of an individual to work and study simultaneously or just concentrate on one thing.

Working will defiantly provide him with extra money to fulfill his needs and wants but may also affect his grades. Only he himself is the decision maker and will face all the consequences.

An individualistic culture, any achievements is based on individual capabilities. To move up the hierarchy, one becomes as self centered and self dependent. It has been observed that most developed countries have individualistic approach to life. They have no peer or society pressure to do anything. It’s there own decision they make and stand by it. They learn from their mistakes and blame no one. In such kind of a society individual skills grow at a very fast pace.


Collectivism can be defined as a term where individuals work in groups and have no separate individual identity, separate values and objectives which could be totally poles apart from the individual goals.  They are interdependent on each other and not an individual but everyone is shares responsibility of decisions taken. It gives more importance to combined aims and everyone works together to achieve them using join capabilities.

It is in the form of a society in which people ever since birth live in unified and interrelated groups, which along their lifetime protect and shelter them in place for absolute loyalty. (Hofstede, Geert (1994), pg. 260). In our daily lives we learn a lot from other people, their knowledge and abilities help us learn more and prevent us from making big mistakes. From childhood we are made to work in groups which stop people from thinking and eventually accept the decisions made by other people in the group.

Collectivism is a notion that represents millions of people in shape of a country and even a small group of two people like a marriage. It fades the right to make individual decision, choices and verdicts. In collectivism all the individuals are bound to accept the decision which may not be suitable for them. (Marcus, Gould, (2000)).


In my opinion individualism is the correct mode of living. In a society where each individual has a right to freedom of speech, he takes credit and responsibility for his decisions, actions and choices he makes. There is no peer or group pressure and everyone lives life according to their preferences.


Hofstede, Geert (1994). Cultures and Organizations – Intercultural Cooperation and Its Importance for Survival. London: HarperCollins, Paperback edition

Marcus, Aaron and Gould, Emilie, West. Crosscurrents (2000): Cultural Dimensions and Global Web User-Interface Design.


Cite this Individualism v/s Collectivism

Individualism v/s Collectivism. (2016, Oct 18). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/individualism-vs-collectivism-2/

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