Assignment # 8
Due Date: Monday, November 7 or 14, 2011
Read Chapter 9: Career Counseling for Multicultural Groups
Page 234: Supplementary Learning Exercises
Do: # 2, 3, 7
How would you explain the difference between individualism and collectivism?
A) In individualistic societies, the goals of individuals are valued more highly than the goals of the group. Individuals are rewarded for behaving independently, making their own plans, and working toward achieving their personal goals. In these societies, individuals are hired and promoted largely based on individual achievement and qualifications. Examples of individualistic societies include the United States and Northern and Western European countries.
In collectivistic societies, on the other hand, the needs of the group are considered more important than those of the individual. In these societies, kinship ties are much stronger and may take precedence over expertise in matters of appointments and promotions. Collectivism is a value in Asian, African, as well as South American cultures.
Take, for example, the case of arranged marriages, still common in countries such as India or Pakistan. In those cultures, marriages are times to form family alliances. You marry whomever your family chooses or whoever is best for the family. In the U.S., on the other hand, you marry whomever you choose, the implication being that it’s your decision and you choose the one best for you. In this case, the welfare of the individual takes precedence over the welfare of the family. The same can happen in your professional life. A student from a collectivistic culture may be sent to the U.S. to study whatever his/her government or company needs and not necessarily what he/she wants to pursue; whatever the group needs (i.e., country or company) takes precedence over what the individual wants.