Collectivist Cultures and Mental Health Issues

Collectivist CulturesCollectivist cultures focus on group objectives, what is best for the group and personal relationships.

The sense of self a collectivist is characterized more by who they are with other people, or by being part of a group. Maintaining social unity, getting along with others and meeting social standards in the collectivist cultures are more important.


Countries considered collectivist include Korea, Taiwan, China, Venezuela, Indonesia, Argentina and Brazil.

For example:

Asia is an excellent example of a collectivist culture. The extended family is vitally significant in Asian culture and loyalty is an important aspect of the people are loyal to their families and fellow citizens and people feel a sense of responsibility to Asian society as a whole, not only to their immediate family.


Many Asian societies are predominantly collectivist in nature. Individuals are regarded as rooted within their collective identity in collectivistic societies and the notion of a separate independent self is stressed. Even the physical appearance of an individual is often seen not only as a reflection of the individuals own inner self but also as a representation of the family, the extended family and perhaps even the whole Asian community. It is unusual for individuals to hear feedback or even requests about their physical appearances, particularly from family members, because of flexible personal boundaries.

Typically, those who belong to a collectivist culture do not think individuals are just separate units that float around in society that kind of culture then values the idea that we are interdependent and part of greater community, rather than toward oneself inward.

Mental Health Issues:

The following are the major mental health issues faced by the collectivist culture.

Social Anxiety

Collectivist communities are more likely to embrace socially reticent behaviors. People in these cultures showed greater social anxiety compared to individualistic cultures.

Self-Perception Pressure

Those from collectivist cultures are more likely describe themselves in terms of their social role, which is the major pressure on them to always think about the cultural norms and act according to them no matter how much they want to experience new things.


Under the philosophy of collectivism the individual has no independent life or meaning. He is merely one of many identical, disposable cells within the so called social organism. Consequently all important decisions must be made by society, not by the citizen.

The mindset of collectivism includes putting the WE into well-being. They always promote the mindset of interdependent happiness. It includes the desire to preserve harmony by

  • Indicating a YES which does not necessarily mean agreement
  • Avoiding to confront issues even if it affects performance.
  • Holding back personal opinions.
  • Giving the benefit of doubt to the elders.

Influence on the World

Collectivism is playing its role in the world by encouraging stability and peace in the world. There is higher productivity in the economy of the nation because everyone deploys his resources in the same direction. It is easier to start and complete projects and commence the innovation of infrastructures. There is a popular saying that “two heads are better than one” this can justify the role of collectivism in the world.

Also, read this article: Social Characters – Erich Fromm

Author Profile

Fajar Wasiq
Fajar Wasiq
She is doing MS Psychology. She also wrote many articles regarding human psychology. Young and energetic about her profession. Helping out people to get rid of stress and depression.

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