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Individualistic Cultures

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Individualistic Cultures

Common characteristics of those of individualistic cultures, include the importance of independence and self-reliance. Individual rights are placed at a high value. Being dependent on others is considered embarrassing and humiliating. People who are strong, self-sufficient, assertive, and independent are most favorable. Individualistic cultures are diversified, having their own personality and mindset. They prefer to avoid misunderstandings and have a high regard for clear communication.

Collectivism is the contrary of an individualistic identity. Social cooperation and group participation is a profound influence on how a society functions. People in collectivist cultures often depend on the support of family and friends during challenging times. They are less likely to take on things alone. People in an individualist culture are more likely to look out for themselves and value their own well-being, whereas with the collectivist culture, the greater good of the group may compromise their individual circumstances. These differences influence every aspect of one’s behavior, and impact the decisions a person makes, from career, to lifestyle choices and social issues.

How do cultural differences influence adolescent development? Studies found that adolescents raised in different cultures develop at different paces. The development of moral reasoning and cognitive skills are not obtained at the same time. Research found that adolescents in collectivist cultures view theories on justice differently than those in individualistic societies. The same holds true regarding academic achievement. “Variables that may affect cultural differences in academic achievement include the value of education in different cultures, poverty rates, malnutrition and even language systems”.

The assumption in individualistic cultures that people are responsible for what happens to them would affect adolescents growing up in poverty. The individualistic society acknowledges that how people behave affects what will happen



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