external image individualism-collectivism-inward-outward-angra-spenta.jpgBook Definition: The view, common in the Euro-American world, that places a high value on individual achievement and distinction.


In Your Own Words


  • Having personal independence and being self-reliant.
  • Reaching your fullest potential to develop the highest sense of self and accomplishment, independent of others wishes or opinions.
  • Making decisions that will help yourself rather than help society.
  • The opposite of collectivism.

Examples/Functions


  • Being proud of your accomplishments and for being different from other people.
  • Athletes, like Michael Phelps, are very individualistic. They are driven and set to achieve goals they set for themselves.
  • Getting good grades because you want to succeed... not because your family pressures you to succeed for their benefit.
  • Doing something out of your own motivation, not in order to glorify another group you are a part of. This is common when you watch the Olympics and see how hard American athletes work for their goal. This can be compared to China, where many young athletes are trained (forcefully) to glorify their country instead of according to their own personal motivation. Most American Olympians are in the Olympics because they want to and to reach their own personal goals, not because someone else forced them to. This reflects the individualistic nature of Western countries.
  • Taking all the credit to further yourself in a team project to further yourself.
  • Artists who draw, paint, etc. for their own personal pleasure instead of for the purpose of selling their work.

  • Additional Resources

  1. http://www.answers.com/topic/individualism
  2. http://www.clearlycultural.com/geert-hofstede-cultural-dimensions/individualism/