Archive for June, 2010

Collectivism vs. Individuality

What do you think of when you ask yourself, “Who am I?”

Is it those things with which or with whom you identify?  Maybe the company for which you work?  The team for which you play or cheer?  The religion in which you believe?  The country in which you were born?  The culture into which you were born?  The brand of a particular product you wear, drive, consume, or carry everywhere with you?  The type or class of people you befriend or associate?  Your family?

Or is it those things that are unique to you?  Maybe things you have done?  The people you have helped?  The things you have learned?  The things you have accomplished?  The things you enjoy?  The experiences you have had?  Your talents?  Attributes of your personality?

Your collective identity consists of the former, while your individual identity consists of the latter.  When we think of our collective identity we say that, “I am one of them,” or “This is what we are like,” or “This is what we can do.” With our individual identity we say “This is what I am like,” or “This is what I can do.”

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