Friday, September 13, 2013

Indvidiualism vs. Collectivism

Individualism vs. collectivism refers to the extent in which a society embraces the independence of the individual and also the responsibility of the community to take care of its own.

To be honest, hearing people talk about this dimension often troubles me because their discussion often assumes an all-or-nothing mentality, as if we are all either anarchists or conformists, when in reality we all lie on a spectrum, varying in degree of individuals and members of collectives at any given moment and/or any given situation.


The individualism vs. collectivism dimension opens whole facets to stories that lie relatively untouched. Rather than explain in generalities, here are simply some questions related to this dimension that might open up new avenues in your stories.

  • What is a family trait that belongs to a side of your family?  To what extant to you identify with it?  To what extant do you feel compelled to identify with it?
  • Name something you've done because you think it's what everybody else does.
  • Tell about a part of yourself that you've come to realize that is unique only to you.  To what extant have you developed that trait in yourself?
  • What kind of person are you as a parent or employee when no one is looking versus what kind of person are you when other parents/employers see you or when other kids/employees see you?

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