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Human characteristics and values fall along a band of culture. Most individuals in a collectivistic culture preserve values at the collectivistic end although held at different spots in the continuum. The spot of values relies on the education, closeness to their traditional culture and ethnic mix of their community. Some members in a collectivistic culture display individualistic cultures because of the influence of the same factors on their personal perspective (Leake and Black, Para 3). The values of a community or individual define the culture of the community or individual in defining their beliefs, attitudes and assumptions. This is because the values guide how people live their lives, including their moral judgements, goals and behaviours. When immigration or displacement of persons occurs, their cultural orientation is altered. This affects both collectivistic and individualistic cultures. This paper will focus on the effects of displacement/immigration on collectivistic cultures and how this affects an individual living within the culture.
The primary view of a collectivistic culture is that people are not separate units, but rather they are a part of a tribe, village, or even a national group. This means that collective culture advocates for interdependence among people of the dame culture (Leake and Black, Para 7). In this regard, the behaviour of one member of the group bears consequences on the whole group. People living in such groups tend to review their behaviour as a culture, as opposed to individual behaviour. A shared behaviour can occasion the development of shared identities including shared social activities and knowledge. In a collective behaviour society, an individual is defined by their relationship with other people and things.
Change in culture causes people to agglomerate into small groups that have related origins especially if the culture of the people is the minority in the new culture. This causes them to want to relate to a group because of the new environment so that they can get a sense of belonging. This is called acculturation. In order to adapt to a new culture, an individual may seek to become a part of a group with whom he shares beliefs or origin. Consequently, the behaviour of the group has a tremendous effect on the individual. An individual’s way of thinking changes due to peer pressure or group pressure. One must strive to accommodate the ideals of the group in decision making (Leake and Black, Para 14). In some cases, the decisions of an individual are made at the group or family level. Collectivistic behaviour or cultures defines the role of each individual within their circles depending upon the age and gender. To orient oneself to the group so formed, orienting oneself to the culture or values is paramount to survival of oneself in the group. This affects the priorities made by an individual in daily living.
Culture acculturation demands that one should learn the language of his new environment. A group may be forced to learn another language or become multilingual as a result of immigration. If the group decides to learn a new language which in most cases is inevitable, the individual oriented to the group must learn the language as well so as to fit in.
In a collective culture setting, there lacks competitiveness of individuals amongst themselves (Leake and Black, Para 18). This becomes more pronounced when acculturation is in progress. The people in a group strive to do what is good for everyone in the group in competition with other cultures in the new environment. The individual in the group is always focussed on dong good for the whole group and may lose sight of his / her personal goals.
The theory of collective behaviour does not embrace personal progress when the whole group is not progressing (Leake and Black, Para 17). In this regard, progress of an individual is at the same pace as the progress of the whole group. This makes an individual stagnate in his/her achievements because the achievements of the collective group come first.
The collective behaviour of an immigrant group affects the interaction style of an individual. This is because they are taught according to their culture and the norms of socialization are instilled in them. This may pose problems for individuals in a new culture with different norms in the same field. This includes behaviour such as hugging, shaking hands or bowing in a greeting (Leake and Black, Para 23).