Today we’ll be talking about individual vs collective culture. We’re going to explore and give tips how the individual can survive in a group.
People are social animals. As a result, each individual is bound to wind up in multiple groups, with each group consisting of multiple different people.
This way, each individual can talk with one another and work together, effectively sharing the load. Let’s take a look at why we should cherish and nurture our individuality and how this is beneficial to a group.
How can the individual survive in a group?
Stay true to yourself
Individualism can survive in collectivism when the people don’t try to pretend to be something or someone they’re not.
There’s no way you can keep this up forever without being exposed. And even if you could, it will corrupt your soul and your mental state will start to regress because you know you are deceiving others, and you know that you shouldn’t be lying about who you are.
Every single individual has their own unique strengths and weaknesses, and it’s to a group’s advantage to use each individual’s specific strengths.
Every single individual should govern the other group members
If you experience or see other group members taking a turn for the worse, then you should confront them in order to keep them in check.
This should be done by every individual that resides in the group. Make sure to intervene as fast as possible when people stray from the right path. If you don’t, then the whole group is at risk of turning malevolent. Possibly to the point of no return.
Always remain skeptical to prevent groupthink. Keep thinking for yourself!
On a side note, groups without a decent portion of morality will need a lot of constant governing to prevent the group dynamics from turning malevolent.
The reason being is people without or with little morality don’t care what happens to the other individuals in their group. People without morality care only about their own feelings, goals, and motivations and disregard the feelings and personal goals of others.
This is why some people only think and care about themselves in a pathological workplace. Not caring about the feelings or needs from the other individuals in the group.
Definition of an individual
An individual is a single human being separate from a group.
All the people alive are individuals with their own personal goals, interests, and motivations.
This means that every group consists of multiple individuals. This is why we have to take into account that each person has different needs, even when they are functioning in a group!
Definition of a group
A group is a number of individuals or things which are located, gathered, or classed together.
Individuals are part of a variety of different groups during their lives. Although the groups we reside in can vary during our lifetime. For instance at work, your social circle, and in your family.
Groups can have a social, survival, and productive function. And sometimes all these purposes at the same time.
Individualism promotes and priorities the exercise of one’s goals, desires, and advocates that these interests of the individual should be prioritized over a social group or state.
Individuality emphasizes the worth and priority of the person over the group.
Collectivism means the principle and practice of giving priority to a group over the precedence of each individual in the group.
Socialism emphasizes cohesiveness among individuals and prioritization of the group over the individual.
Examples of different kinds of groups
- You are in a social group when you are playing together with your peers in team sports like volleyball or soccer. Team dynamics can vary from sport to sport.
- You are probably in a social group that consists out of your best friends. It’s also possible that you reside in multiple different groups of friends. It’s likely that the group dynamics change a bit depending on which group of friends you reside in at that given moment.
- You are also in a group, albeit a different one, with your co-workers when you are working.
- You are also in a different group with your family. Where each family member often takes on a different role or responsibility. This role is typically based on age and gender.
Benefits of individualism
Although collectivism has many perks, there are a large amount of positive effects of individualism such as:
- We all have personal reasons, motivations, and goals to pursue in life. Putting yourself first to contrary believe is not necessarily selfish.
- The group might be a limiting factor for pursuing your own goals, interests, and motivations.
- We must think individually to keep a group from participating in group thinking. Groupthink can potentially lead to malevolence with disastrous results.
- You have to learn and become more efficient in order to survive as an individual compared to in a group. This gives you the benefit of acquiring multiple vital life skills.
- You don’t have to take other people into consideration as much.
- Not so much outside pressure as you would have if you were in a group.
- Another one of the benefits of individualism is that you’re your own boss, so your life is your own individual responsibility. You are free to shape it as you see fit.
Dangers of individualism
Still, there are some potential negative effects of individualism like:
- Reduced social support
- Less community integration
- Cut back social ties
- One of the dangers of individualism is more loneliness
- Increased isolation
- More estrangement
Benefits of collectivism
There are many positive effects of collectivism.
The group means the best chance at survival. There’s real power in numbers. More so in ancient times, but it even holds true today. Historically, it has always been the individualistic vs collective self.
Survival of the human species was, and still is, essentially the goal of every individual human being. That’s why we keep organizing ourselves in groups.
- The biggest benefit of collectivism is protecting the other group members from other malevolent individuals, groups, and animals.
- Looking out for each other and each other’s children.
- Holding each other warm in cold times.
- Working together, which means more chances of success and survival.
- People are stronger in a group. Multiple people together are stronger than a single individual and can cause more harm when protection is needed.
- You can motivate each other.
- Stronger unity and harmony.
Dangers of collectivism
There’s a catch, though. Group dynamics are very different from the dynamics of an individual, since collectivist values are very different from the values of individuals.
- Increased chance for groupthink
Groupthink is a danger of collectivism.
When groups get too large, there comes a point where the individual becomes less and less important and the group identity takes the most prominent role. This becomes especially dangerous if the group dynamics become malevolent.
This is dangerous because people in groups display a decreased ability to critically think for themselves compared to individuals outside a group. Thus, making it harder to see the harm the group might potentially be causing.
- Less inspiration
- Decreased incentive for individual responsibility
- Working for the sake of the group instead of the individual’s best interest.
Is collectivism or individualism better?
What is an example of individual vs collectivism?
Can a person be individualistic and collectivistic?
Both the individual and the group have their own unique advantages and disadvantages. That’s why the collective vs individual is such a tricky thing to balance.
Living on your own without being in groups would make most people feel lonely and isolated because we are social animals who work together at our core.
Keeping your individuality in groups is of vital importance. Not only for your own personal health, but also to keep the group spirit benevolent rather than malevolent.
Nietzsche said it best with the following quote: “In individuals, insanity is rare. But in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule.”