All currently existing cultures can be compared with one another against the Collectivism/Individualism scale. The societies that are usually described as individualistic have the independent social orientation. The differentiating characteristics of those groups are autonomy, self-expression, and the interpretation of happiness as a socially disengaging emotion. The collectivists’ societies have the interdependent social orientation. Their members endorse harmony, relatedness, and connection, don’t view themselves as bounded or separated from others, and experience happiness as a sense of closeness to others. Typically interdependent societies are found among Eastern nations, and independent societies are found among Western nations. Subgroups within a nation can also be compared against Independency/Interdependency scale. For example, the working class in the U.S. tends to be more interdependent compared with the middle class. Numerous factors, such as geographical mobility, industrialization, and political systems, affect the social orientation.


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