Individualism and collectivism are so deep rooted in culture that they mold their members’ self-identities and perceptions of the world. The United States, embrace an individualistic culture based on the freedom of individual and self-reliance. Most North Americans and Europeans have an independent view of the self as an entity that is autonomous and self-contained. Other Countries in Asia and Africa hold an interdependent view of the self as part of a larger social network that includes one’s family and others as in collectivistic culture. In a Collectivistic society, people believe that individual’s life does not belong to him/her but to the group or society. And so, individual must sacrifice their values and goals for others.
The complexity of a society, affluence of society, and heterogeneity are key factors that contribute to individualistic society. People living in complex industrialized societies focus more on individual goals rather than collective goals. For example Capitalism: In this kind of economic system, private individual owns the means of production while socialist economy is collectivistic in nature. Socialist economic systems seek to make sure that the needs of people come before the needs of profit, making it different from capitalism's more individualistic focus.
Would you describe your own culture as being more individualistic or collectivistic?