Outside the "cultural binary": understanding why Latin American collectivist societies foster independent selves

Krys, Kuba, Vignoles, Vivian L, De Almeida, Igor and Uchida, Yukiko (2022) Outside the "cultural binary": understanding why Latin American collectivist societies foster independent selves. Perspectives on Psychological Science. pp. 1-22. ISSN 1745-6916

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Cultural psychologists often treat binary contrasts of West versus East, individualism versus collectivism, and independent versus interdependent self-construal as interchangeable, thus assuming that collectivist societies promote interdependent rather than independent models of selfhood. At odds with this assumption, existing data indicate that Latin American societies emphasize collectivist values at least as strongly as Confucian East Asian societies, but they emphasize most forms of independent self-construal at least as strongly as Western societies. We argue that these seemingly “anomalous” findings can be explained by societal differences in modes of subsistence (herding vs. rice farming), colonial histories (frontier settlement), cultural heterogeneity, religious heritage, and societal organization (relational mobility, loose norms, honor logic) and that they cohere with other indices of contemporary psychological culture. We conclude that the common view linking collectivist values with interdependent self-construal needs revision. Global cultures are diverse, and researchers should pay more attention to societies beyond “the West” and East Asia. Our contribution concurrently illustrates the value of learning from unexpected results and the crucial importance of exploratory research in psychological science.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: collectivism and individualism, cultural binary, cultural models of selfhood, independent and interdependent self-construals, Latin American culture
Schools and Departments: School of Psychology > Psychology
SWORD Depositor: Mx Elements Account
Depositing User: Mx Elements Account
Date Deposited: 29 Jun 2021 07:13
Last Modified: 07 Mar 2022 12:15
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/100054

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