A Numerical Analysis Of Social Capital Under The Individualism-Collectivism Cultural Context

1132 WordsApr 23, 20095 Pages
The two culture-level indices of individualism-collectivism have been constructed and used as universal indicators in cross cultural research. The relationship between social capital and some salient features of individualist cultures and collectivist cultures is analyzed in this paper, aiming to understand the interrelationship between social capital and individualism-collectivism cultural context. THE INDIVISUALISM-COLLECTIVISM The individualism-collectivism cultural models are often referred to as the degree to which cultures encourage individual needs, wishes, desires, and values in relation to group and collective ones (Hofstede, 1980). At the cultural level, individualism is argued to be the polar opposite of collectivism according to many recent researches on individualism and collectivism. Individualist cultures encourage their members to be unique; individual goals, values, behaviors, and self-expression take precedence over the collective needs of groups (Matsumoto, 1996). Individualist cultures foster an independent, autonomous sense of self that is clearly separated from others (Markus & Kitayama, 1991). Individuals with highly independent (individualist) self construals will have as a referent their own abilities, attributes, characteristics, or individual goals as opposed to the thoughts, feelings, or actions of others (Markus & Kitayama, 1994). In contrast, collectivist cultures emphasize the needs of in-groups. Individual goals are subordinated to in-group goals. Individual identification in collectivist cultures occurs through in-group affiliations like family, classmates, or work colleagues. Conformity, compliance, and cooperation within in-groups are emphasized to a greater extent in collectivist cultures. Collectivist cultures foster an interdependent sense of self in which boundaries between oneself and others are less distinct (Markus &

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