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Chapter 7: “I Did it My Way”: Collective Expressions of Individualism
En leur reigle n'estoit que ceste clause: Fay ce que vouldras (In their rules there was only one clause: Do what you will). (François Rabelais, 1553, p. 57)
Group life has traditionally been associated with pressure for uniformity and intragroup homogeneity in beliefs, attitudes and behaviour (e.g., Cartwright & Zander, 1953). For instance, Asch (1951) describes how group formation inevitably leads to a shared understanding among group members, which enhances cohesion and reduces differentiation between individual group members. He notes:
The individual comes to experience a world that he shares with others. He perceives that the surroundings include him, as well as the others, and that he is ...