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Communication in Individual and Collectivist Societies Essay

How do people in “individualist” cultures behave differently to people in “collectivist” cultures? People in collectivist cultures:
Each person is encouraged to be an active player or role in society, to function as a whole.
The rights, as a whole, trump those of the individual.
Rules promote unity, and selflessness.
Working with others is considered the norm.
Community strength is their main focus.

People in individualistic cultures:
They promote the “I” for identity.
Strive for goals, initiative, esteem and achievement.
Independence is valued, less motive to help others.
Not relying on others is viewed as a norm.
Doing things on your own, depending only on one’s self.

As you were growing up, in what ways were you reared to be individualistic or collectivistic? Which orientation was the predominant cultural value of your family? For what I can remember, as a child, I was raised to be more collectivistic but with a little bit of individualistic as well. Growing up with a large, caring and close family, it only came natural to me to fit into the collectivistic category. When you are young you are still learning therefor depend on others to gain knowledge and understanding to learn.

One can only view themselves as collectivistic when it comes to being technical when viewing how you were raised. Also, I was involved in many friendship groups and multiple sports growing up. I had to learn from others how to play the sport, but once I grew in my skill of that sport, I then depended on myself to get better. So, both collectivistic and individualistic were used in upbringing. But as far as a predominant role, I would have to lean to collectivistic.

Explain the connections between these two cultures with the dialectic approach. Which of the six dialectics is the most predominant in assisting people in communicating more effectively in intercultural interactions? Provide examples to support your response.

In this article, the two approaches that stood out to me were the cultural-individual and personal-contextual approaches. Seeing how there were several people in an argument from different cultures doesn’t surprise me there was conflict amongst

them. Plus the context-personal played into each person differently and how they responded. And because of that, each person’s cultural background came into play.

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