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Among the variations between cultures, one prominent difference regards the relative emphasis of personal desires versus the goals of the group to which the individual belongs to. In collectivistic cultures, individuals view themselves primarily as parts of a larger whole (e.g., family) and are motivated mainly by norms and obligations imposed by the collective entity (Triandis 1995). Collectivistic cultures are further distinguished by the horizontal versus vertical dimension. In horizontal collectivistic cultures, a sense of social cohesion and oneness with in-group members is emphasized, whereas vertical collectivistic cultures expect sacrifice for the in-group and acceptance of inequalities within the collective (Singelis et al. 1995).
Although cultural syndromes organized around the theme of collective units versus the individual person have been discussed for centuries (e.g., gemeinschaft versus gesellschaftamong German scholars), since the early 1990s,...
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