Culture/Gender (Contrasts Between Individualistic and Collectivistic…
Contrasts Between Individualistic and Collectivistic Values
The basic individualistic and collectivistic views of people as either independent or interdependent lead to contrasting sets of values.
Orientation to Self or Group
The individualistic view of people as independent units leads to emphasis on a range of self-oriented values and skills that support independent living.
The collectivistic view of people as interdependent leads to emphasis on group-oriented values and skills that contribute to effectively filling roles within the family or other group.
Instead of living independently or going away to college, the young adult may be expected to remain at home and fulfill roles within the family.
Culture influences how decisions are made within a family.
In traditional collectivistic cultures, there is likely to be a social hierarchy based on gender, birth order, and/or age.
Elders may have final say about how far their children go in school, who they marry, or where they work.
Decisions by authority figures in collectivist cultures are likely to be obeyed with less questioning than is typical in individualistic cultures.
In American individualism, the ideal is for all people to be able to freely make their own decisions.
The opinions of family elders may be respected, but as youth enters adulthood, they expect and are expected to make decisions about their own lives.
Social hierarchy strongly influences how knowledge is obtained and transmitted.
People of high social status may be seen as holding important cultural and technological knowledge.
May be considered disrespectful for children to express their opinions to or ask many questions of their elders.
May be expected to absorb and then reflect back the knowledge provided to them by their elders, who determine when youngsters are ready to learn.
More likely that children are encouraged to form and express opinions and to seek knowledge at a pace they self-determine.
Knowledge should be freely available to anyone who wants it.
Individual Choice and Personal Responsibility
All cultures seem to acknowledge that how people behave affects what will happen to them, whether in this life or a presumed afterlife.
Different views of the responsibility for those outcomes.
Individualism highly values the freedom to choose for oneself.
Collectivistic cultures, the ideals of individual choice and free will are less likely to be highly valued, and less emphasis may be placed on personal responsibility for outcomes.
Individualistic culture may be allowed or even encouraged to make choices based on what is best individually, while people in collectivistic cultures are more likely to be expected to give priority to what is best for the group.
Concepts of Progress
A widely shared value in American mainstream individualism is that people should continually be improving themselves and advancing in their educations, careers, and other endeavors.
Traditional collectivistic cultures, however, may not place a strong value on this kind of progress.
Misunderstandings are therefore likely when people from different cultures interact.
Common tendencies in American individualism include directly raising topics or issues, freely expressing personal opinions, and asking personal questions, even of strangers.
All of these tendencies are generally less prominent in collectivistic cultures.
In many collectivistic cultures it is especially likely that younger or socially lower people are expected to behave in a respectful and obedient way when interacting with older or people of higher social rank.
Norms vary a great deal across cultures for the distance at which people feel comfortable talking to each other or for appropriate touching.
Interaction norms depend on people’s social status.
Expectations for Adulthood
All cultures have expectations about how children typically behave and how their behaviors should change as they mature and demonstrate readiness for adulthood.
In individualistic cultures, expectations tend to fall at the independent end of the continuum: Adults should be self-sufficient, set and pursue personal goals, be true to their personal values, and meet their civic responsibilities in a context of social equality.
In collectivistic cultures, expectations tend to fall at the interdependent end of the continuum: Adults should contribute to the group, work with others to achieve mutual goals, adhere to the traditional values of the group, and understand their place within the social hierarchy and perform their expected roles.
ADHERE: To be devoted in support or allegiance; be attached as a follower or upholder
In American individualism, people can show that they hve valued characteristics—such as mastery of certain skills or being able to perform under pressure-by competing with and doing better than others.
Collectivistic cultures are more likely to emphasize cooperation among group members as the basis for success in competition with other groups, whether at the level of the family, business, or nation.
Shame and Guilt
People are likely to feel shame or guilt if they do poorly in competition or behave in ways that others criticize.
Fear of failing or losing may keep people from tackling a challenge or entering a competition.
As social emotions, shame and guilt naturally vary across cultures.
Individualistic orientation tends to view themselves as being more in control of their own lives, they may be more likely to blame themselves and feel shame or guilt if they do not meet expectations.
People with a collectivistic orientation are more likely to identify strongly with their family or some other group, they tend to be more likely to feel shame or guilt if their behavior is judged to bring disgrace on the group.
Expression of Identity
American mainstream culture promotes self-expression.
Cars, clothes, cosmetics, and most other consumer items are often marketed in terms of how they help people to express their inner selves.
In collectivistic cultures, by contrast, people are more likely to adopt an appearance appropriate for their social status, with less concern for expressing what makes them unique as individuals.
In some collectivistic cultures, great importance is placed on maintaining the family reputation by not shaming it.
This perceptive can delay or prevent getting help if conditions such as mental illness or disabilities are viewed as sources of shame.
Family members in a collectivistic culture may desire or feel obligated to care for relatives in need, so accepting help from others may be viewed as evading family responsibilities.
In American mainstream culture families also take care of their own, however, often people feel they should take care of their own needs and only turn to their families as a “last resort”
Gender and Sexual Orientation
Women--- Genderqueer---Men Gender identity is how, in your head, you think about yourself. It's the chemistry that composes you and how you interpret what that means.
Feminine---Androgynous---Masculine Gender expression is how you demonstrate your gender through the ways you act, dress, behave, and interact.
Female---Intersex---Male Biological sex refers
Heterosexual---Bisexual---Homosexual Sexual orientation is who you are physically, spiritually, and emotionally attracted to, based on their sex/gender in relation to your own.
Hofstede’s Cultural Dimensions Theory
A framework for cross-culture communication.
The effects of a society’s culture on the values of its members, and how these values relate to behavior.
The degree of being feminine—valuing fluid gender roles, quality of life, services, relationships, and interdependence—and the degree of being masculine—emphasizing distinctive gender roles, ambition, materialism, and independence.
The extent to which uncertainty, ambiguity, and deviant ideas and behaviors are avoided.
The extent to which people accept an unequal distribution of power.
Long-Term versus Short-Term Orientation
Reflects a cultural-group orientation toward virtue or truth. The long-term orientation emphasizes virtue, whereas the short-term orientation emphasizes truth.
Individualism on the one side versus its opposite, collectivism, is the degree to which individuals are intergrated into groups and seen as interdependent or independent.
There are elements of both individualism and collectivism in any culture.
A cultural oriented to individualism might highly value being able to work independently.
A culture oriented to collectivism might highly value being able to work as part of a group.
The difference is in the relative importance that each culture places on these contrasting values.
Most members of a collectivistic culture will hold values at the collectivistic end of the continuum, although each will be at a different spot on the continuum, and some will even be at the individualistic end.
Where they are on the continuum of values depends on such factors as how closely they identify with traditional culture, their level of education, and the ethnic mix of their community.
Alternative Views of People as Independent or Interdependent
There are sharp boundaries between people, with each person being a complete unit.
People are considered to be independent.
Thought to have rights and responsibilities that are more or less the same.
A person’s identity (i.e., the sense of self) in an individualistic society tends to be based mainly on one’s personal experiences—accomplishments, challenges, career, relationships with other people,etc.
People are not separate units, but rather are part and parcel of a larger group (i.e., extended family, village, or tribe).
People are interdependent.
A person’s identity in a collectivistic society tends to be based on one’s roles and experiences within the group context.
For example, people in traditional Pacific Island cultures have been described as developing “shared identities” as the result of “sharing food, water, land, spirits, knowledge, work, and social activities”.
“The person is not an individual in our Western sense of the term. The person is instead a locus of shared biographies: personal histories of people’s relationships with other people and with other things. The relationship defines the person, not vice-versa”.
LOCUS: a center of source, as of activities or power: locus of control.
PARCEL: a part, portion, or fragment.
Culture and Communication is a reciprocal process: culture affects communication and communication affects culture.
Both work together to shape how we identify as belonging to one culture or another, how we feel about belonging to a particular culture group, how we communicate with other cultural groups, and how that group is regarded in the larger social system.
Working class, Middle-class, Upper-class
"Your understanding of the world and where you fit in; it's composed of ideas, behaviors, attitude, values, and language; class is how you think, feel, act, look, dress, talk, move, walk".
Falls into two camps
Biological Construction of Race
"Pure" races existed and could be distinguished by such physical features as eye color and shape, skin color, and hair.
Not a person's DNA that places them into a particular racial grouping, but all of the other factors that create social relations---politics, geography, or migration.
The power of dominant groups
One, privilege is a relative concept that varies according to context. In some situations we may be more privileged than others, and in order to access some of that privilege one may decide to highlight or conceal parts of their identity.
EX: Unless a person tells you, you have no way of knowing his/her sexual orientation. Thus, a gay man might decide to "pass" as straight at a family reunion to avoid conflict from a heterosexist family. The fact that he can choose to pass and a black man cannot make the choice to pass as white is another example of privilege.
We can be privileged and not feel privileged.
Two, we may have aspects of our identities that are simultaneously advantaged and disadvantaged.
The gay, white, working-class, male above is advantaged by the fact that he has light skin and is male, and is disadvantaged by the fact that he is gay and working-class.
Culture refers to belief systems, values, and behaviors that support a particular ideology or social arrangement.
What I find interesting about Culture/Gender is how Culture and Communication is a reciprocal process and how culture affects communication and how communication affects culture.