From Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Collectivism is a kind of ethics based on people being a group. Its opposite is individualism which is based on people being individuals.[1] Collectivists focus on what's good for a whole group. Individualists focus on what's good for each person. Collectivism and individualism are philosophical positions and are also part of politics.

The word "individualism" was originally used by socialists to attack their enemies. They said that individualists were selfish for not supporting socialism.[2] Instead, individualists support people being independent and chasing their own goals. They also believe in having lots of freedoms.[3]

Collectivists believe that one person is not as important as a group of many people. They often believe people should compromise to make things better for each other instead of just themselves.[4] They also think that letting someone do whatever they want is not good if it hurts lots of other people. Collectivism has many different types. It can mean serving your community, your government, your social class, your race, or some other group.[4]

Research[change | change source]

  • In 1930, Max Weber compared collectivism and individualism in religion. He thought that Protestants were more individualistic and independent, but Catholics were more focused on hierarchy and community.[5]
  • The German sociologist Ferdinand Tönnies described an early model of collectivism and individualism using the terms Gemeinschaft (community) and Gesellschaft (society).[6] Gemeinschaft relationships, in which communalism is prioritized, were thought to be characteristic of small, rural village communities. An anthropologist, Redfield (1941) echoed this notion in work contrasting folk society with urban society.[7]
  • Hofstede (1980) was highly influential in ushering in an era of cross-cultural research making comparisons along the dimension of collectivism versus individualism. Hofstede conceptualized collectivism and individualism as part of a single continuum, with each cultural construct representing an opposite pole. The author characterized individuals that endorsed a high degree of collectivism as being embedded in their social contexts and prioritizing communal goals over individual goals.[8]

References[change | change source]

  1. "individualism | Definition, History, Philosophy, Examples, & Facts". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 2021-04-08.
  2. Claeys, Gregory (1986). "'Individualism,' 'Socialism,' and 'Social Science': Further Notes on a Process of Conceptual Formation, 1800–1850". Journal of the History of Ideas. University of Pennsylvania Press. 47 (1): 81–93. doi:10.2307/2709596. JSTOR 2709596.
  3. "individualism". American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (5th ed.). Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 2016 – via
  4. 4.0 4.1 "collectivism". Encyclopædia Britannica. {{cite encyclopedia}}: Cite uses deprecated parameter |authors= (help)
  5. M. Weber (1930). The Protestant ethic and the spirit of capitalism. New York: Routledge.
  6. F. Tönnies (1957). Community and association. Harper Torchbooks.
  7. Redfield, Robert (1941). The folk culture of Yucatán. University of Chicago Press. ISBN 9780226706597.
  8. Hofstede, G. (1980). Culture's consequences. Beverly Hills: Sage.