Individualism, Collectivism, and Community Psychology

Individualism, Collectivism, and Psychological Research
  • Collin van Uchelen


A continuing challenge for researchers in community psychology is conceptualizing community phenomena at a collective level with appropriate theoretical constructs (Heller, 1989). However, the pervasiveness of an individualistic ideology in psychology makes it difficult to conceptualize psychological phenomena in terms of a collectivistic perspective. Individualism, and its conceptual counterpart, collectivism, are basic assumptive world views that vary within and across cultures. While both individualism and collectivism influence the nature and expression of psychological phenomena, psychological theory and practice generally assume an individualistic perspective. Awareness of the hidden bias of individualism is particularly important for those who wish to be sensitive to cultural diversity (Vega, 1992). In developing constructs that reflect a collectivistic perspective, the individualism embedded within our discipline must be identified and challenged


Community Psychology Psychological Phenomenon Collective Level Psychological Sense Collectivistic Setting 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Collin van Uchelen
    • 1
  1. 1.Cross Cultural Psychiatry Program, Department of PsychiatryUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouver, British ColumbiaCanada

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