Cultural Dimension: me or we

Cultural Dimension: me or we


Individualism or collectivism? Do you define yourself as an “I” or a “we”? In considering cultural dimensions or attributes individualism the “I” prefers independence and self-reliance As an individual you are expected to take care of yourself and your immediate family but you have no obligation to the larger community. Cultures which focus on individualism celebrate the accomplishments of a person rather than a group. For example does your employer single out an “employee
of the month”? Employees from that background, the “I” background might more naturally seek to advance their own interests
within the job rather than that of the entire organization. Australia the U.S. the U.K. are all “I” cultures emphasizing the obligations of the individual the individual human rights, the individual’s
personal responsibility Are you familiar with the saying “the squeaky
wheel gets the grease”? This comes from cultures which focus on the individual. In contrast cultures on the other end of the spectrum
such as China, Pakistan, Venezuela and Ghana the group, the “we” is of paramount importance This is “collectivism” An individual is expected to be loyal to that group and not advance his or her own personal interests
at the expense of the group. To operate outside the interests of the group is considered shameful both to the individual and that group whether family or work-based. In fact in Japan (a “collectivist” or “we” culture) unlike the squeaky wheel “the nail that sticks out will be hammered down” In a workplace favoring collectivism relationships at work are considered to
be family-like. The employer offers protection in exchange
for loyalty. An employee with poor skills would not be dismissed but probably moved to
another position. On the other end of the spectrum employers and employees favoring individualism see the work relationship as strictly business. An employer reasonably may terminate an employee for poor
performance, and successful employees will frankly consider accepting a better pay offer from a competitor. These contrasting values can seriously impair communication and expectations
at work. So which are you? Are you an “I” or a “we”? And what is your employer?

90 thoughts on “Cultural Dimension: me or we

  1. I'm so happy to hear this video was helpful to you! It is actually one of our favorites, and we work with it a lot, personally and in training/teaching.

  2. Mr. Unknown47, thank you! We always like to hear what viewers use the videos for and of course that you like them :).

  3. Thank you! I love this dimension also; it explains so concisely the rules really generating how we "automatically" respond in so many situations.

  4. Can't there be an intermediate position where you are free but loyal, where loyal does not suffocate personal enjoyment and uniqueness, yet you see the value in furthering human civilisation?

  5. The US was founded as an 'I' but every government I know of is a we. The government tells you you'll be ok because you're part of the 'We'. Under the 'We' the root of a problem is hardly dept with. If society was an I society it would be more clear where the problem lies because there isn't a safety net protecting the really problem from truly being addressed. When it comes down to it, its all about how YOU live YOUR life. All problems come down to individuals "I"

  6. @sergeypikalov our concepts and approach derive inspiration from many sources, including Geert Hofstede, Edmund Hall, Stella Ting-Toomey and others. I imagine the Peace Corps too has looked at these brilliant thinkers, writers and researchers — I love that the Peace Corps is using these concepts, fantastic!

  7. You might consider family-centrism, like the Chinese and Indians, in which benefit of the extended family always came first, job & opportunities in public organizations or corporations are monopolized by people with same surnames, despite many of the family members are idiots.

  8. It's not collectivism in terms of its "level of scale". Individualism, family-centrism, collectivism are simply a spectrum distinguished by "the number of people in the collection" that each self-seeking unit consisted of. Individualism and collectivism are at the two ends of the spectrum, with family-centrism or even previous Jap style corporation-centrism somewhere in the middle.

  9. Things happening to you involuntarily. In fact, everyone is inevitably affected by forces that they have no control of, be it other humans, weather, nature, etc. And your "control", either reactively or proactively over the consequences is limited by the possible options perceived as well as the degree of how things turn out matter of factly in "co-operating" with your perceived options. Even if you are completely isolated, you "lose" some degree of control if your own life anyway.

  10. Empirically speaking, there are 3 types of control in human society:
    1) Complete Control – No kidding. Drugs are already developed and are widely used by Hong Kong & Macau's triads to rape unsuspecting female victims in back alleys or make people sign debt-proof.
    2) Manipulative Control – By psychological means. There is a factor of choice of how to react, limited by one's shame/fear/belief system.
    3) Coercive Control – Law, institutions, back by force
    These are brief. E-mail me for discussion.

  11. This could only be implemented properly if it was a Direct Democracy with all of the individual human rights being recognized

  12. Japan is not a collectivist culture. Communism is not collectivism. Countries like China have a small number of privileged people who have all the power.

  13. The human existence has both individual & collective aspects. I would less likely sustain my existence with no realization of self-interest, and less likely survive with no participation in mutual support. I/We need both healthy ego & healthy eco. The real question for me is not whether I'm an individualist or collectivist, but which system can maximize both individual & collective interests. That would be one which guarantees free access to the means of life & to the social decision-making.

  14. We're looking at cultures. Not political views. This video is purely more elaborating on the Sociological proponent in a society than anything else.

  15. This shows it in such black and white terms. True individualism does not seek after there own objectives at the expense of the group. That is a total misconception. By obtaining our own objective goals, Individuals increase the overall wealth of the community. Someone building a business has need for employees, this in turn ofers jobs and opprotunity to others. 

  16. This video is manipulative, it is trying to create an understanding of us and them, it reflects an individualists perspective, and has undertones which are divisive.

    The way we the people should consider the population as a whole and would be healthier for everyone is if, the individual works for the good of the collective and the collective looks after the individual.  It should be a symbiotic relationship.  Ying and Yang, male and female, nurture and nature, individualism and collectivism.

    Unfortunaltley our government no longer represents the people it is now a parasite on the collective to the benefit of an every decreasing minority of people, who some call the elite, whereas I call them leaches.

    So please don't be fooled by this explanatory video it tries to get you to choose a side i.e. it is divisive.  Try to see the population as I have explained a collection of individuals who work for the good of the collective that looks after the individuals.

    United we stand divided we fall.

  17. US is pure collectivist country wearing individualism mask. Individualism is just a smoke screen for collectivists in US.

  18. No group is pure one way or the other. The US leans towards the individual but we have elected representatives for the many. Speak out against a tight knit group one belongs to and you can be ostracized. A cop slamming his fellow cops would be shunned.

  19. Yes and no. The societies labeled as collectivists are the ones with a large population of "oppressed slaves", let's say.
    It's kinda like calling the inmates of a prison as a "collective group of people". People in Pakistan and China and whatever are mostly poor and ignorant (at least compared to the ones in control, the elite in control). This definition labeling individualism and collectivism as opposites is not accurate. One can be a highly valued individual and work very well in a group. And that's what happens with all elite team sports. Chicago Bulls had Michael Jordan, Scottie Pipen and Dennis Rodman (amogst others obviously) who were all an epitome of individualism, and at the same time worked great as a collective (although Dennis Rodman's individualism often tried to outshine his "collective part"). The problem with any "ism" is that it is a reductionist conceptualization. In every group there will be individuals with certain characteristics that set them apart from the others in a specific activity. The more complex and refined the activity, the more evident and relevant the distinction. In all groups (or countries)  where there's a large equivalent mass of people, they're mostly working under the ruling of a smaller group of distinct individuals. The Soviet Union always had very rich people and very powerful people, as well as China. As well as the countries in the middle east. So, if you're poor and weak and try to behave more individualistically, it won't work, because you can't sustain it. If you have nothing to ostentate, if you cannot defend yourself, you can't shine. You can't be an individual. People who are "individualistic", or are labeled as one, are people who have something useful for others. Athletes, models, all kinds of entertainers can only sustain their individualism because too many people like it, too many people profit from that. But they are all immersed in a collective situation. They are nothing without managers, agents, bodyguards, promoters, producers, fanbases, audiences, etc. 
    So, that's it, individualism and collectivism are not opposites, unless you're clearly trying to define the behavior of one specific person, but then again, it would be more precise to use egoistic or altruistic.

  20. Me? I'm kind of both I guess. On some things like work and this I'm a collectivist. On other things like private property and stuff I'm definitely an individualist. 

  21. The US, Australia and UK examples of individualism? hah. Maybe 100 years ago.
    Also the false dilemma that individualism infringes on the well-being of "the group" (an abstract concept, groups are just collections of individuals.) Whereas adhering to mob-mentality (collectivism) has definite negative consequences to free-thinking individuals and lends itself quite well to the manipulations of dictators and genocidal maniacs.

  22. Hahaha! The US, Australia and the UK are all collectivistic as the societal paradigm in all those countries is that of fabian socialism.

  23. America should be collective. Our individualism, if continued, will be our downfall. We should be communistic and collective like China.

  24. What is a loner or a cast away some one that doesn't fit in, a misfit, or a rebellion against the grain of the norm, a poor person on the street that doesn't get recognized and dies without a cause we can debate from a self perception which at the end of the day it is categorized with previous data or information of what was and what will be the outcome of it .To truly separate from the norm one has to reject credit and see were they fit in with out recognition, they see the basis of reasoning with out reward, to help others is to whisper a unique idea into the ear of a "want to be" and watch how fast it spreads by the word of mouth around the world, to see the outcome of it with out telling that ear my identity, a true sense of humbleness, even if the idea is categorized as bad or good, to feed the collectiveness of the imagination which is the hive network from the source or the oneness. Any system under laws and jurisdictions is a temporary ground for the rebellion to face individualism to test the system by all under the law, restricted from the declaration of independence from the start of our masculine force of self identity or intelligence. The all is mighty with the right laws!!, in the military there isn't a individual it is one under a mission or a set of commands under a system of majority rules whether it is categorized as bad or good. Money is the root of the tree of illusions to make one separate to gain a already fixed materiel reality, it already exists in the imagination until one finds the path to bridge it into there own reality, You take reward away from task and the true purity of oneness will emerge, this is why we use a name to identify, we our summited to judge our outcome with out any natural essence or instinct, you are a biological machine under commands to compete and to conquer what was and what is to come but now faced with the lack of resources, the human experience will be stored on a microchip to return to the beginning or the alpha to be categorized in the universe as the human experiment for the omega will be valued at a most high aspect among the oneness SO BE IT !!!!!!!

  25. Notice how the three countries that were singled out as individualist are all Anglophone countries. You can thank the Englishmen Thomas Hobbes and John Locke for the dysfunctional ideology known as liberalism.

  26. Collective Individualism, where the individuals rights are protected and we work together to solve our problems and reward group efforts rather than put emphasis on rewarding individuals and politicians who aren't willing to work together.

  27. may somebody name any successful country whos culture is collectivist

    oh i can start:Japan, S.Korea, Taiwan, Singapore

    any other?

  28. Sargon of Akkad has an awesome video about Individualism and Collectivism in politics. I highly recommend checking it out.

  29. I don't get it, I think this is a false dichotomy. "The interests of multiple individuals" can make up a collective group, that's why we have political parties. Your dichotomy breaks apart cause their not always mutually exclusive. And this isn't an ideological divide either, conservatives would also need to prioritize some collective good that they believe is worth more than the feelings of one individual. Now "collective control" on the other hand, that's dangerous, cause you not only do things in society's best interest at sometimes, but its a central authority taking ownership of what used to be done by individual agents. And that's usually the extreme left like communism and socialism. But in today's context, I don't see how any of this is relevant to modern politics; both liberals and conservatives have values and ideals on how society should be governed.

  30. Idiots in the comments section think that the rich and the powerful are collectivists. Individualism is loved by the rich because it allows their organizations (giant multi-billion dollar corporations) to have no accountability from the mass of people. Their organizations in individualistic societies gobble up all of the wealth for themselves and leave the majority to suffer. That is your individualism; that is modern society.

  31. Perhaps Interfacet Training should stick to information technology rather than philosophy. This video conflates leadership/corporate styles and the significant and fundamental social philosophies, but they should NOT be conflated.

    Individualism is the philosophy that the individual's unalienable rights must be protected, and that that is the primary purpose of government. As Alma Gordon noted in his comment, in NO way does that equate to a lack of obligation, interest or participation in every level of society.

    Conversely, Collectivism views the group, "the collective," as supreme. Of course, a collective can't run itself, so masterminds (those who tell us they know better than we) rule it, making decisions for the "good of everyone." Under Collectivism, individual "rights" are fickle and fleeting because they are granted by the Collective (i.e., those who RUN the Collective). When the mastermind-rulers decide your speech "threatens" the society, they silence it, one way or another. When they decide your property would be more useful for purposes they—in their great wisdom—have determined, they seize it (taxes, fees, fines, mandates, annexation, etc.).

    This video, whether ignorantly or by devious design (I suspect ignorance) mixes a mostly true narrative with a small but significant amount of misinformation, thus subtly implying that Individualism is negative. That is major disservice.

  32. me + you = us, too much individualism = greed and selfishness, to much collectivism = zombies, it shouldnt be either one or the other, it should be a balance of both, individual value and freedoms + selflessness and altruism = healthy community.

  33. all those good reasons to be the individual are the same reasons many peoples,(native American as ex),have all but been exterminated.
    the oldest laws of nature still apply,always will,survival of the fittest.
    it's in every lifeform,white blood cells attack forighn invaders threatening to weaken and change your body's natural workings,if they worked as individuals,humans probably would be like Dinosaurs,history!!!
    when two or more sub species (scientific definition of race),or species compete for same resources,same freedoms,same rights,and one threatens the other,the individual will lose.
    ill be called racist now,which should be called prejudice,because they aren't the same,that's cool,I know I harbor no ill feelings towards any but those who distort,decieve,,and manipulate society with all this division preaching one set of leftist values to the world,while openly practicing the total opposite set of values,in the most extreme form!!
    We all ARE different,no ones better than another,and if these Agitator's left the population alone,for the most part,Wed all stay in our geographical locations,pretty peacefully,and vacation to enjoy the beauty of the world's other cultures.
    It's precisly these differences that makes the World so beautiful, the colors,smells,sounds!!!!
    We've been so manipulated we only believe certain things,I believe what the facts support!!
    the individual idea is wonderful,saying that doesn't mean thier not a super easy target for the massive communist machine that finances and organizes violent protests and regime change ,uses influence to make war and destroy entire nations,make laws that will imprison you if you have the nuts to question.
    on the other side,when the right has enough of being attacked,gets tired enough of Gov intervening in everything they do,then those not with them is against them,a primitive,and nessacary survival instinct,will kick in,and make the neutral, leave me alone I'll leave you alone individual an easy target.

  34. This is a false choice. people should feel responsibility to society and humanity while also taking responsibility for their own actions. society should protect individual rights and not blame groups for the actions of individuals. E PLURIBUS UNUM!

  35. The West in general is individualistic in outlook and practice at large. This is their weakness in their culture. Collectivism probably is not the best term to understand China, Japanese, Korea, Africa and so forth. God made us female and male to complement one another, both in family and in society. Chinese culture, I know personally, is better reflecting this truth in relationship context, not simply about workplace relations. Our identity is not meant to be geared to "self" but rather the common denominator ie the group you belong to.

  36. We is always better than I; that is the way we are made for one another: from family units to working units to community units to society units all the way to the very end: humanity.

  37. 1:00 Bullshit. The general ethos of any society is a collectivist one. If the world was full of individualists, we probably wouldn't have large societies with rules and armies having wars etc etc.

  38. 0:29 false. You always have obligations to a larger community.

    Also check out that from the collectivist countries examples, only China is an economic power.

  39. The biggest irony to me regarding this topic is that in my experience most of the collectivists I meet are so because of what is in it for them. A good example would be the fools who voted for Obama simply for the free cell phone.

  40. take 10 intelligent people and give them all the same task of building a bridge individually , then give another 10 people the task of building 10 bridges working together … result ? well the bridges being built by people individually would NEVER get built .

  41. in a society run on individualistic principles EVERY person could dispute the "law" of any other person = law of the jungle . individualists are ape brained retards .

  42. in general germanic nations are individualistic and asian nations are collectivistic, but why? there must be an underlying anthropological reason

  43. There must be a balance to be able to sustain either or, otherwise there will be civil unrest.
    A We cannot hold itself over the individuals that form it, it must meet the needs of individuals and aim to utilize their unique abilities.
    An I cannot survive without a We, otherwise it will reduce ones own potential and become subjegatable or incapable of higher thought, therefore an animal.

  44. I think the government should run with a collective mindset. It should benefit the PEOPLE not the PERSONS. Allow citizens to live their lives and support those who fail and succeed equally.

  45. Individualism is selfishness, you should care about how your actions will affect others and be the way that they want you to be, especially family and true happiness comes from making others happy.

    Collectivism has been here the longest and with reason because it *works*. Families staying together for the children is an example of collectivism and thats good

  46. I wonder why these videos explain what these ideologies are but do not prove that the cultures provided as examples are examples of each ideology.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *