Whether or not that's evidence of collectivism I have no idea.
"Individualism vs. collectivism (IDV): This index explores the “degree to which people in a society are integrated into groups.” Individualistic societies have loose ties that often only relates an individual to his/her immediate family. They emphasize the “I” versus the “we.” Its counterpart, collectivism, describes a society in which tightly-integrated relationships tie extended families and others into in-groups. These in-groups are laced with undoubted loyalty and support each other when a conflict arises with another in-group."
Interesting. For me this is one of the worst things about living in the UK.
It’s quite normal for many people to go the park or the beach and just leave all their litter on the ground when they’re done. Or to tip out all the litter from their car into the street when they’re done eating a McDonalds meal. Things that would be totally unacceptable in Japan or even many other European countries!
In the UK I don’t think it’s lack of respect for others that is the real problem, however. People are generally polite to each other, willing to help people out and form orderly queues. It’s more a lack of respect for the environment around them (picking up litter is someone else’s job) or lack of awareness of how their actions affect others (I had no idea that revving my loud ass motorbike on a residential street at 1AM was annoying people)...
Sometimes I wish that the UK was more like Japan!
I was on a train going into London earlier this week and the guy sat behind me insisted on playing music loudly on his phone speaker. Which doubles the annoyance of being both terrible music (imo) and terrible distorted sound quality.
I asked him to turn it down after being annoyed for a bit, which he did for 5 minutes and then took a phone call (speakerphone, obvs) and turned the music back on.
I guess he knew I wasn't going to keep making a fuss and so didn't give a shit. It was mildly infuriating - but what are you going to do?
That's not to say that I can't care about rude behavior or do anything about it if it starts to persist. I've confronted more than one person who kept on with bad behaviors, at the coffee shop that I go to.
Usually a politely-worded request is all that's required. I may escalate to a second politely-worded request. I think that's only been needed once in 13 years of going to the coffee shop. The baristas handle it if it gets more out of hand.
There is behavior that I particularly don't have a problem with but other people do. This usually concerns the shared resource of space at the bar. One guy really needs his space, about half of a bar intended to seat 3. The coffee shop is his workplace and he needs everything just so. Other people roll their eyes and just give in, in many cases moving before he gets there. This, of course, suits him just fine. He seems to calibrate to just enough disagreeableness to get his way in this particular instance.
I'm just glad I don't have to get involved and can laugh from a distance.
Very confused about why my original comment got downvoted.
Worth clarifying that it's not normal for the majority of people, and only a few people do it in specific occasions. But it does only take one bad apple to spoil things.
But it’s surprising (and sad) to me how many people do do this when they think they aren’t being watched. Often people who you would take to be perfectly fine, ordinary, upstanding types at first glance.
On the other hand, I watched a couple of members of a bunch of “youths” hanging out at a bus stop in London the other day who went out of their way to put their crisp wrappers in a nearby bin. Despite it being a pretty grimy littered street. So perhaps there is hope...
Odd they don't cite sources promoting the common view (Except for Hofstede, later).
> The common view is problematic because it takes this country-level difference and interprets a cultural dimen- sion of the country—for example, that American culture is individualistic and that Japanese culture is collectivis- tic—and then further applies that culture-level difference to individual members of those cultures. American indi- viduals are treated as if they are all individualistic and Japanese individuals are treated as if they are all collec- tivistic; that is, the common view essentially imposes a country-level effect (I/C) onto individual members of those nation cultures.
So they are saying that Japanese culture is collectivist, but Japanese individuals aren't. Makes sense to me. I litter more when in China than when in Japan.
Based on the abstract it sounds a good read. Japanese phrase “The nail that sticks out gets hammered down” might need to be changed to “The nail that sticks out gets to see further”
More principled cultural measures like Hofstede's don't measure individuality of individuals (sic). They measure relative differences in a group of people from another in the terms of the culture and values as they are collectively represented in institutions and behavioral norms.
In Hofstede's cultural dimensions Japanese uncertainty avoidance may be interpreted and perceived as 'low individuality' because it restricts expression of expressing ideas and individual behavior. It does not mean that Japanese are drones without ideas as individuals. They must express new ideas using different channels when working inside Japanese culture.
Hofstede's ranking for individualism for select countries:
Short definitions to avoid confusion from literal interpretation of the terms (these terms don't mean exactly the same what the common meaning is):
individualism: the degree of interdependence a society maintains among its members. In Individualist societies people are supposed to look after themselves and their direct family only. In Collectivist societies people belong to ‘in groups’ that take care of them in exchange for loyalty.
power distance: the extent to which the less powerful members of institutions and organizations within a country expect and accept that power is distributed unequally.
masculinity: indicates that the society will be driven by competition, achievement and success, with success being defined by the winner / best in field – a value system that starts in school and continues throughout organizational life. A Feminine society is one where quality of life is the sign of success and standing out from the crowd is not admirable (Sweden is opposite of Japan in this axis).
uncertainty avoidance: the degree to which the members of a society feel uncomfortable with uncertainty and ambiguity. Strong uncertainty avoidance means maintaining rigid codes of belief and behaviour, and are intolerant of unorthodox behaviour and ideas.
indulgence: the extent to which people try to control their desires and impulses. Culturally less emphasis on leisure time and control the gratification of their desires.
Slut shaming, unemployment, deviant behavior, low status jobs are about shame. 13 reasons why and slew of other media explore slut shaming in modern society. Hn commentators never fail to remind macdonald and wallmart workers about their status. Go back just a couple of decades and its even more pronounced.
Any one who has been to school here will know status and class consciousness is predominant in society. This raises questions about the value and accuracy of these kind of distinctions.
Differences seem to come more from relative wealth levels that allow better infrastructure, facilities, less frenzy for survival, leisure, some degree of independence and opportunities for self improvement. In Palo Alto people wait for pedestrians while in New York its completely different, you can do some deep analysis on culture for this or put it down to crowding and heavy traffic patterns.
I also think there is a strong Confucianism element to things. Collectivism is a sister to respect for collective and hierarchical authority sometimes.
I'm not American. I'm in Australia but working with a body that covers all 56 Asia Pacific economies with some national chapters. The Bhutanese are very very strong on ancestor and elder respect (for instance)
So you tend to support the papers view?
There're quite a few young people living out the traditional Japanese dream though. Birth rates seem to be coming back up too. Possibly because Tokyo (where most young people are concentrated, the rest of the country is more or less dying) is slowly becoming child-friendly. More spacious housing for affordable (as that can be) prices, more public facilities for children and child care/schools seem to be getting cheaper.
And on top of that, they have strict immigration and don't feel like going Euro way at all. Thus population decline is massive compared to western europe.
I think this is common across the developing world. Contributing to declining birth rates "why put in effort to bolster members of my society?" and similar notions.
> I do not understant why it would be a common view in America. AFAIK, it is not a common view in France.
Probably because it is a common view in Japan and just about everywhere else in the world.
I see it too but rather than just Confucianism I think that individuals are too clueless to drive anything on their own and end up leaving decisions and directions to "consensus" instead of relying on what they can do themselves.
I rather blame education in Japan, which is absolutely terrible and actively destroys bright minds from an early age.
This university was caught penalising women test scores due to a belief they would "waste" chairs, since women may drop out school with pregnancy.
That's textbook example of collectivism over individual to me, and a pretty extreme one.
This editorial spends a page and a half talking about it without a single example.
* Culture level effects do not necessarily translate to the individual. That is, Japanese culture may be collectivist without any individual being collectivist.
* Other countries are more collectivist than Japan.
* Concepts like "collectivist" and "individualistic" are not binary or mutually exclusive. (People can switch from one to another depending on context or day of the week.)
All of the examples in this thread fit perfectly into the article's section on why the common view persists despite the wealth of evidence to the contrary: confirmation bias. For instance (not an example from the article): Americans are "individualistic" even though 51% of Americans go to church (the ultimate in collectivism) at least once a month. But that massive groundswell of collectivism isn't seen as such. Even the much disliked growth in partisan politics is just another form of collectivism.
The only way we say one culture is "collectivist" and another "individualistic" is if we cherrypick data or history?
How we branded ourselves as an "individualistic" culture when for 500 years, our identifying cultural contribution was collectivist racism. The fact of the matter is that the west conquered the world because we were far more collectivist than anyone else. It wasn't the "rugged individual" who conquered africa, america, asia, etc. It certainly wasn't the "rugged individual" that wiped out natives, enslaved africans, etc.
It's funny how we took 500 years of our collectivism and then dumped it on the japanese, chinese, etc and branded ourselves as "individualistic".
All nations are individualists and collectivistic at the same time.
It has nothing to do with how nations/groups conquer each other.