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In the fields related to intercultural communication, the most used (and at times overused) construct or dimension for comparing and contrasting cultures has been individualism and collectivism (IND/COL). IND/COL primarily concerns how people see themselves in relation to the social groupings or structures around them. In social structures where individuals take precedence over groups and the ties between people are loose, individualism is usually the priority, such that each person is expected to look after himself or herself (or his or her immediate family). In contrast, in collectivist cultures, where the group takes precedence over individuals and social systems are tighter, people are guided from birth to be an active, contributing part of clearly defined ingroups; variations of collectivism influence people to consider how their ...

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