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Collectivism/Individualism

Collectivism is a societal orientation toward promoting the well-being of the collective, whereas individualism is a societal orientation toward the well-being of individuals. Collectivism and individualism are important concepts in group processes and intergroup relations because these concepts capture two fundamental motivations of homo sapiens: “getting along” and “getting ahead.” Because humans are social animals living in a group that often has complicated internal structures (e.g., an organization), we must get along with other group members while simultaneously trying to get ahead of them.

Collectivism and individualism can be understood as two significant ways to deal with these two fundamental human needs at the level of society. Society consists of multiple groups that compete with one another for resources for survival. Thus, in addition to an ...

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