In life, is it "all for one, and one for all..."

A group huddles up, and people take turns putting their hand in the center of a circle. Finally, an animal puts their paw in!

...or "every man for himself"?

A group of runners approach the finish line, and one man is in front of the pack.

Not everyone agrees about which is better!

Collectivism and individualism are two ideologies, or sets of political and cultural beliefs, that create a vision for society.

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What is collectivism?

In this belief system:

  • the family and community are the most important aspects of society

  • people define themselves by their relationships with their community and culture

  • values include cooperation, generosity, group loyalty, and compromise

  • the government has a role in promoting economic opportunity for all

A cartoon of a man scooping five Hey Arnold kids into a group hug. The caption reads,


Which of the following government policies reflect collectivist values?

What is individualism?

In this belief system:

  • the individual is most important

  • people define themselves by their individual personality traits

  • values include competition, self-reliance, freedom, and responsibility

  • people have unlimited economic freedom and control over their property

In a scene of the Simpsons, Homer tells Marge,


Researchers have noticed that culture has an influence on how people describe themselves. Which of the following descriptions show an individualistic self-concept?

Collectivist or individualist?

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Collectivism is common in:

  • Asia

  • Africa

  • Latin America

An icon showing one single person.

Individualism is common in:

  • North America

  • Western Europe

  • New Zealand and Australia

That being said, many communities reflect a balance of collectivism and individualism. 🍁Canada is an example of a country with both collectivist values and individualist values.

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