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Individualism And Collectivism (New Directions in Social Psychology)

2 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0813318509
ISBN-10: 0813318505
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Product Details

  • Series: New Directions in Social Psychology
  • Paperback: 280 pages
  • Publisher: Westview Press (May 4, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0813318505
  • ISBN-13: 978-0813318509
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #181,866 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By we-should-have-lunch-sometimes! on January 3, 2010
Format: Paperback
For those looking for the latest social-psychological literature on the individualism-collectivism parallel, this is a good source. However, the dry academic approach leaves the wise layman fundamentally unsatisfied simply because cultural relativism and political correctness permeate this work way more than they should. The book presents the two types of "culture" as if they were merely "different" all while downplaying chronological developments in human history as well as fundamentals of human psychology. Humans - EVERYWHERE! - were not naturally wired to live socially and psychologically separate from one another. Before I hear the "yeah, the nature argument again", the quintessence of our humanity is "attachment" - a trait that Robert Karen examined in amazing detail in her book "Becoming Attached - First Relationships and How They Shape Our Capacity to Love". Read this one first to understand why individualism, particularly the cancerous form in which it has mutated during the 20th century, is NOT just a "different" form of culture and why it has much more malign potential than collectivism for ALL humans. The author presents with apparent scientific neutrality what are the advantages and disadvantages of the two cultural orientations and how both can be characterized by extremes with very serious consequences.
Yet even in the most collective of cultures, "ingroup-outgroup" conflicts are still seen as undesirable (albeit perceived as necessary at any given point in time). However, when entire populations become so atomized that they can hardly relate to their fellow humans, that they are no longer capable of experiencing any sort of authentic forms of loyalty, affection or empathy going beyond a "what's in-it-for-me" self - that is a human failure of catastrophic proportions.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Kindle Customer on December 6, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is an excellent scholarly discussion and description of individualist and collectivist cultures and the differences between them. The lit review is extremely helpful. The author examines the strengths and weaknesses of each model at the end of the text.
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