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Thread: Map of Individualism (vs Collectivism)

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    If you go back a few hundred years, the picture was pretty much the same. The only nations where private individuals left of their own initiative to create population colonies were individualistic ones (English, Scottish, Dutch, Scandinavians, some Germans, a few North French).
    At least they went with their families (and to low-populated countries) Not the iberian case.

    In Europe, the genes for hard-working tend to correlate with individualism (both are higher among Germanic people, probably due to a founder effect before the Bronze-age Germanic expansion), but that doesn't mean that they are the same genes !
    Well, romans didn't consider germanics as a hard-working people (and we are talking about late iron age) You are taking genetic determinism too far (and not only from a chronological perspective)

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    1 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo View Post
    I have been active on forums for over 10 years, and I can tell you from experience that Northwest Europeans usually don't care so much about what others say about their country, and often like to criticise it themselves. It's a well known fact that the Brits like to make fun of themselves.
    I still doubt this has anything to do with individualism. Here is an alternative explanation: The Brits are historically in a strong position, because they almost never were ruled by others. They can easily afford to make fun of themselves without fear. They were actually the ones who ruled over many others. Same with Dutch and Danes. On the other hand the icelanders are much more aware of their nationality, because they were ruled by danes most of the time. Also Norwegians are more concious about nationality for the same reason. Inferiority complexes may be involved as well as a result. Not to mention balcanic peoples who were ruled up to 500 years by ottomans.
    Last edited by ElHorsto; 28-10-11 at 22:12. Reason: "something" replaced by "anything"

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    This is all based on stereotpyes and ignorance. What is collectivist about spaniards ? If anything nordics are the most collectivist based on how their society and economic system works. As a catalan I can tell you Catalonia is a very industrious and individualistic society.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wilhelm View Post
    This is all based on stereotpyes and ignorance. What is collectivist about spaniards ? If anything nordics are the most collectivist based on how their society and economic system works. As a catalan I can tell you Catalonia is a very industrious and individualistic society.
    You obviously haven't read anything of what I wrote (or if you do your didn't understand anything).
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    1 members found this post helpful.
    Rather than genetic we could see the traditional family system of Europe as a better origin for the individualistic/collectivistic behaviours.


    The traditional family system of Europe according to Emmanuel Todd:



    Regions with absolute nuclear families
    generate smaller households, a more educated
    population, and a higher percentage of population in employment. They lead to greater
    formal membership of clubs, perhaps as a form of compensation for the lack of
    socialisation within the family. They are currently associated with service societies, and
    have generated richer and more dynamic regions, although also more inequitable
    societies. Regions with an imprint of absolute nuclear families seem to be early
    adopters, first in terms of the transition between an agricultural and an industrial society
    and then from the industrial to the service society. It thus may be that the higher
    economic dynamism of these areas is most in evidence in periods of change and less so
    in periods of stability.


    Regions where egalitarian nuclear families tended to predominate have larger
    households, lower overall levels of educated population, lower activity rates, and lower
    female participation in the labour force. A small but more universally available
    inheritance maybe seen as a deterrent for higher education, as would the larger family
    size. While there is no big difference with absolute nuclear family areas in terms of
    sectoral structure, inequality, and dynamism, these regions tend to be poorer, perhaps as
    a result of their weaker ability to adapt to sectoral shifts in the economy.

    Regions with a tradition of stem families are associated with larger household size,
    lower levels of education and lower participation in the labour force, but not necessarily
    lower female participation. They are currently predominantly industrial societies and
    tend to be poorer and less dynamic than nuclear family dominated areas.

    Regions with communitarian family traditions surprisingly do not lead to bigger
    households, or less educated populations, or less overall participation in the workforce.
    Such regions tend to be manufacturing societies and poorer, but more equal, than areas
    of absolute nuclear family traditions.

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    1 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by spongetaro View Post
    Rather than genetic we could see the traditional family system of Europe as a better origin for the individualistic/collectivistic behaviours.
    Nice correlation, but why should we suspect the causation to go the direction you're suggesting? Doesn't individualism/collectivism dictate the family structure more than the family structure dictates individualism/collectivism?

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    Quote Originally Posted by sparkey View Post
    Nice correlation, but why should we suspect the causation to go the direction you're suggesting? Doesn't individualism/collectivism dictate the family structure more than the family structure dictates individualism/collectivism?
    Actually this map only reflects the medieval family structure and is supposed to explain the birth of modern ideology such as the reformation, the French revolution, Communism etc

    But as you said individualism/collectivism can also dictates the family structure. Obvioulsy if the map was based on nowadays'family structure, I think that all the UK would be in the same color as would be all France etc.

    I've found better explanation for the map on the Web:


    1. Absolute Nuclear Family:
    a. Spouse selection: Free, but obligatory exogamy.
    b. Inheritance: Indifference - no precise rules, frequent use of wills.
    c. Family Home: no cohabitation of married children with their parents.
    d. Representative Nations, Peoples, Regions: Anglo-Saxon world, Holland, Denmark.
    e. Representative Ideology: Christianity, Capitalism, `Libertarian' Liberalism, and Feminism.

    2. Egalitarian Nuclear Family:
    a. Spouse selection: Free, but obligatory exogamy.
    b. Inheritance: Egalitarian - equality between brothers.
    c. Family Home: no cohabitation of married children with their parents.
    d. Representative Nations, Regions: northern France, northern Italy, central & southern Spain, central Portugal, Greece, Romania, Poland, Latin America, Ethiopia.
    e. Representative Ideology: Christianity (Catholicism); the "Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite" form of Liberalism.

    3. Authoritarian Family:
    a. Spouse selection: Parents, little or no marriage between children of brothers.
    b. Inheritance: Anti-Egalitarian - inequality between brothers, transfer of patrimony to one son.
    c. Family Home: cohabitation of the married heir with his parents.
    d. Representative Nations, Peoples, Regions: Germany, Austria, Sweden, Norway, Belgium, Bohemia, Scotland, Ireland, peripheral regions of France, northern (Basque) Spain, northern Portugal, Japan, Korea, Jews, Romany Gypsies.
    e. Representative Ideology: Fascism, various separatist and autonomous (anti-universalist) movements.

    4: Exogamous Community Family:
    a. Spouse selection: Parents, no marriage between the children of two brothers.
    b. Inheritance: Egalitarian - equality between brothers.
    c. Family Home: cohabitation of married sons with their parents.
    d. Representative Nations, Regions: Russia, Yugoslavia, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Hungary, Finland, Albania, central Italy, China, Vietnam, Cuba and north India.
    e. Representative Ideology: Communism, Socialism.

    5. Endogamous Community Family:
    a. Spouse selection: Custom, frequent marriage between the children of brothers.
    b. Inheritance: Egalitarian - equality between brothers.
    c. Family Home: cohabitation of married sons with their parents.
    d. Representative Nations, Peoples, Regions: Arab world, Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tadzhikistan.
    e. Representative Ideology: Islam.

    6. Asymmetrical Community Family:
    a. Spouse selection: Custom, prohibition on marriages between the children of brothers, but a preference for marriages between the children of brothers and sisters.
    b. Inheritance: Egalitarian - equality between brothers.
    c. Family Home: cohabitation of married sons with their parents.
    d. Representative Regions: southern India.
    e. Representative Ideology:

    7: Anomic Family:
    a. Spouse selection: Free, but without obligatory exogamy; consanguine marriage possible and sometimes frequent.
    b. Inheritance: Indifference - uncertainty about equality between brothers, inheritance rules egalitarian in theory but uncertain in practice.
    c. Family Home: cohabitation of married children with parents rejected in theory but accepted in practice.
    d. Representative Nations, Peoples, Regions:
    e. Representative Ideology: Buddhism, Christianity, and Communism, but potentially anything.

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    This one is also interesting:
    Interestingly ,secular ratonial values peak in Northern European and North East Asian(Sweden being second behind Japan) . Traditional values are typicall of Southern Hemisphere people (see how Ireland comes close).
    Last edited by spongetaro; 28-10-11 at 21:49.

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    I think that individualism or collestivism partly is an inherited trait of character, but they undergoes very big social and economic influence.

    And it’s not that strongly individualistic countries tend to be more economically and socially liberal, more entrepreneurial it’s completely opposite! If a country is economically and socially liberal, people have good standard of living they tent to become independent and more individualistic!
    Not country’s tradition or DNA determine how individual people can be, but economical wealth and education (which in turn also depends on wealth).

    For example in my country many people just forced to live with their parents, because in current state of our country they just can’t survive on their own. (they can’t even loan a flat or get food education). It doesn’t mean at all we like collectivism! Because if someone’s family have a good income they help their children and then these children very soon can find a good job, loan or buy an apartement and run from their parents.

    What about Arabs and Africans, who come into Europe. Are they high individualists, if your map is right , they aren’t. It’s just as I said, they search for better life, better wealth.

    And speaking about immigrants into New world. It’s much easier to immigrate ti wilderness then into a developed country. Actually I doubt many people have run there without their families.

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    Quote Originally Posted by spongetaro View Post
    Actually this map only reflects the medieval family structure and is supposed to explain the birth of modern ideology such as the reformation, the French revolution, Communism etc
    Too much reductionism imho,,, Ascribing all the developments to some blind historical forces and tendencies..

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    1 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by Kardu View Post
    Too much reductionism imho,,, Ascribing all the developments to some blind historical forces and tendencies..

    Ideologies only dominate in some specific familial systems.
    Emmanuel Todd predicted the fall of the Soviet Union because the satellite states (like Poland) and internal (Moslem) `satellite states' will prove non-absorbable.
    The anglo Saxon feminism (linked with the absolute nuclear family) is one of the reason of the USA/Islam clash of Civilization.
    The French revolution and the motto "Liberté, égalité, fraternité (Liberty, equality, brotherhood) has its root in the Egalitarian Nuclear Family of Northern France with its liberal and egalitarian values. Liberty of the children and equality among the brothers legitimated the idea of equivalency of men and people.
    Economic liberalism has its roots in the Absolute nuclear family because it enables economic Liberty (Free market, Laissez-faire) but accepts inequality (consequence of the free market).
    The gypsies, refuse to be absorbed by other cultures because of their family structure even though they have no identifiable ideology.
    Christianism was easily replaced by Islam in Anatolia because of the Endogamous Community Family.
    Last edited by spongetaro; 28-10-11 at 22:57.

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    Quote Originally Posted by spongetaro View Post
    Ideologies only dominate in some specific familial systems.
    Emmanuel Todd predicted the fall of the Soviet Union because the satellite states (like Poland) and internal (Moslem) `satellite states' will prove non-absorbable.
    The anglo Saxon feminism (linked with the absolute nuclear family) is one of the reason of the USA/Islam clash of Civilization.
    The French revolution and the motto "Liberté, égalité, fraternité (Liberty, equality, brotherhood) has its root in the Egalitarian Nuclear Family of Northern France with its liberal and egalitarian values.
    Economic liberalism has its roots in the Absolute nuclear family because it enables economic Liberty (Free market, Laissez-faire) but accepts inequality (consequence of the free market).
    The gypsies, refuse to be absorbed by other cultures because of their family structure even though they have no identifiable ideology.
    Christianism was easily replaced by Islam in Anatolia because of the Endogamous Community Family.
    If we follow this way of reasoning where should we look for the roots of "Egalitarian Nuclear Family of Northern France with its liberal and egalitarian values"?!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kardu View Post
    If we follow this way of reasoning where should we look for the roots of "Egalitarian Nuclear Family of Northern France with its liberal and egalitarian values"?!

    I'm not an expert in Anthropology, I'm jut exposing Todd thesis. If you want to learn more, his book is called The Explanation of Ideology: Family Structure and Social Systems.This is the one I've found in English.

    In a book only available in french (L'origine des systèmes familiaux) , he explains that Europe kept the most archaic form of Familial system. Paleolithic people had nuclear families according to him.
    The community family first started in Asia.
    After the end of the middle ages, the nuclear family enabled Europe to develop faster than the other part of the world because the community family was paralyzing economic growth.

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    Quote Originally Posted by spongetaro View Post
    Rather than genetic we could see the traditional family system of Europe as a better origin for the individualistic/collectivistic behaviours.
    Unfortunately this study looks at things the wrong way round. Family traditions are not responsible for the disparities in economic systems or level of education. It tends to be the other way round, but the correlation is a weak one. British or Scandinavian children did not start leaving the parental home because of the industrial revolution, or because Britain got wealthier earlier. It was already like that at least since the Renaissance.

    What I see on this map are very old genetic divisions that mirror the distribution of ancient ethnic groups, phenotypes, and even haplogroups to some extent. The yellow areas are North Germanic (the Dutch, English and Scots being closer to the Danes and Norwegians than to the Germans). The green areas (except in Scandinavia) have a strong Celtic substrata. The Neolithic/Near Eastern influence is very strong in the red regions (not just in the Balkans, but in central Italy, Provence, Auvergne, Languedoc ad South Portugal, all regions with higher percentages of G2a, J1 and J2). The parts of the map in blue also show some Near Eastern influence (less in Poland than elsewhere) and especially have a high percentage of E1b1b and/or I2a (two haplogroups which could represent Mesolithic South Europeans).

    Interesting to note again the big disparities within France, which were already discerned by Carleton S. Coon in 1939 in the Races of Europe (see my colourised map), and which showed up again in the haplogroup distribution (especially the G2a-J1-T hotspot around Auvergne, or the I1-I2b-R1a in the Northeast).

    Quote Originally Posted by spongetaro View Post

    Regions with absolute nuclear families
    generate smaller households, a more educated
    population, and a higher percentage of population in employment. They lead to greater
    formal membership of clubs, perhaps as a form of compensation for the lack of
    socialisation within the family. They are currently associated with service societies, and
    have generated richer and more dynamic regions, although also more inequitable
    societies
    . Regions with an imprint of absolute nuclear families seem to be early
    adopters, first in terms of the transition between an agricultural and an industrial society
    and then from the industrial to the service society. It thus may be that the higher
    economic dynamism of these areas is most in evidence in periods of change and less so
    in periods of stability.
    This description may be appropriate for Britain, but there is no way that the Netherlands, Denmark and Norway are more inequitable societies. They are among the most egalitarian countries in the world (lowest Gini coefficient).

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    Quote Originally Posted by spongetaro View Post
    Actually this map only reflects the medieval family structure and is supposed to explain the birth of modern ideology such as the reformation, the French revolution, Communism etc
    The map is supposed to reflect the medieval family structure, but the descriptions seem to refer to the situation now. Britain and Scandinavia were much poorer than southern Europe in the Middle Ages.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo View Post
    Unfortunately this study looks at things the wrong way round. Family traditions are not responsible for the disparities in economic systems or level of education. It tends to be the other way round, but the correlation is a weak one. British or Scandinavian children did not start leaving the parental home because of the industrial revolution, or because Britain got wealthier earlier. It was already like that at least since the Renaissance.

    What I see on this map are very old genetic divisions that mirror the distribution of ancient ethnic groups, phenotypes, and even haplogroups to some extent. The yellow areas are North Germanic (the Dutch, English and Scots being closer to the Danes and Norwegians than to the Germans). The green areas (except in Scandinavia) have a strong Celtic substrata. The Neolithic/Near Eastern influence is very strong in the red regions (not just in the Balkans, but in central Italy, Provence, Auvergne, Languedoc ad South Portugal, all regions with higher percentages of G2a, J1 and J2). The parts of the map in blue also show some Near Eastern influence (less in Poland than elsewhere) and especially have a high percentage of E1b1b and/or I2a (two haplogroups which could represent Mesolithic South Europeans).

    Interesting to note again the big disparities within France, which were already discerned by Carleton S. Coon in 1939 in the Races of Europe (see my colourised map), and which showed up again in the haplogroup distribution (especially the G2a-J1-T hotspot around Auvergne, or the I1-I2b-R1a in the Northeast).



    This description may be appropriate for Britain, but there is no way that the Netherlands, Denmark and Norway are more inequitable societies. They are among the most egalitarian countries in the world (lowest Gini coefficient).

    The caption with the first map is quite bad, I've found it on a paper that use Todd'system to explain nowaday's economic disparities between regions.
    The second caption is more appropriate.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo View Post
    The map is supposed to reflect the medieval family structure, but the descriptions seem to refer to the situation now. Britain and Scandinavia were much poorer than southern Europe in the Middle Ages.

    Todd's family system only explain why ideologies are dominant in some regions of the world. As I said the first caption doesn't reflects Todd's view accuratly. They took its modals to make their own economic theory.
    For instance, Authority of the father and equality among the brother in the community family explains why Comunism was more successful in the Community family area.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo View Post
    This description may be appropriate for Britain, but there is no way that the Netherlands, Denmark and Norway are more inequitable societies. They are among the most egalitarian countries in the world (lowest Gini coefficient).
    Then why are they so individualistic in your map?

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    Quote Originally Posted by spongetaro View Post
    I'm not an expert in Anthropology, I'm jut exposing Todd thesis. If you want to learn more, his book is called The Explanation of Ideology: Family Structure and Social Systems.This is the one I've found in English.

    In a book only available in french (L'origine des systèmes familiaux) , he explains that Europe kept the most archaic form of Familial system. Paleolithic people had nuclear families according to him.
    The community family first started in Asia.
    After the end of the middle ages, the nuclear family enabled Europe to develop faster than the other part of the world because the community family was paralyzing economic growth.
    My dislike with modern anthropologists is that generally they are politically biased and project modern realities on past populations and discard all the data which don't fir to their fancy theories... Take that silly goddess cult for example which as if existed in old times and got destroyed by warlike brutal patriarchalists...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo View Post
    What I see on this map are very old genetic divisions that mirror the distribution of ancient ethnic groups, phenotypes, and even haplogroups to some extent. The yellow areas are North Germanic (the Dutch, English and Scots being closer to the Danes and Norwegians than to the Germans). The green areas (except in Scandinavia) have a strong Celtic substrata. The Neolithic/Near Eastern influence is very strong in the red regions (not just in the Balkans, but in central Italy, Provence, Auvergne, Languedoc ad South Portugal, all regions with higher percentages of G2a, J1 and J2). The parts of the map in blue also show some Near Eastern influence (less in Poland than elsewhere) and especially have a high percentage of E1b1b and/or I2a (two haplogroups which could represent Mesolithic South Europeans).
    The blue and yellow area (nuclear family) are those that reflect the most the paleolithic family structure. In Todd thesis, the nuclear family is the first family structure among modern humans then the Community family appeared in Asia.

    I think that the community family was brought in Europe by IE invaders and West Asian neolithic farmers .

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    Quote Originally Posted by spongetaro View Post
    Regions with absolute nuclear families</b> generate smaller households, a more educated
    population, and a higher percentage of population in employment. They lead to greater
    formal membership of clubs, perhaps as a form of compensation for the lack of
    socialisation within the family.
    Thanks! This means that "individualism" leads to just a different kind of collectivism which is more dynamic. As a side effect, it pushes progress and is less conservative (in strict sense). It's good for modern market economy and not so good for static land farming because a markes work best with flexible participants, while land owners benefit from stability (conservatism). I again don't see north-europeans to be less collectivist. For them it is still very important to belong to a group, while it is less important to which one. For south-europeans it's just the other way around.

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    Quote Originally Posted by spongetaro View Post
    Then why are they so individualistic in your map?
    As I have explained many times, collectivism has nothing to do with egalitarianism. Actually most countries in the world are collectivist (the default of humanity) but very few are egalitarian.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ElHorsto View Post
    Thanks! This means that "individualism" leads to just a different kind of collectivism which is more dynamic. As a side effect, it pushes progress and is less conservative (in strict sense). It's good for modern market economy and not so good for static land farming because a markes work best with flexible participants, while land owners benefit from stability (conservatism). I again don't see north-europeans to be less collectivist. For them it is still very important to belong to a group, while it is less important to which one. For south-europeans it's just the other way around.
    True individualism rejects club membership too. Don't try to twist and meddle everything up. I am not aware that club membership is higher in Scandinavia or the Netherlands anyway (Britain may, but especially among the upper classes, and that only started in the 19th century as a kind of fashion, so it's not at all representative of all British society in the last 500 years). The Japanese adopted the British fashion for clubs in the 20th century, yet they are extremely collectivist.

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    Quote Originally Posted by spongetaro View Post
    There is also the explanation of Fernand Braudel that the Protestant/catholic boundaries almost matches the border of the Roman Empire with the exception of Ireland and Poland.
    You forgot that England, Wales and a third of the Netherlands were Roman but became Protestant, because they were just too individualistic. Then, most of the Czech Republic was never Roman (like Poland) but became Catholic because Slavs are more collectivist. Then Orthodox Christianity was also Roman and surely as collectivist as Catholicism, but extended to Ukraine, Belarus and Russia that were never Roman. Once again, collectivist people adopt collectivist religions, regardless of their history or past connections. Slavic countries could easily have become Protestant as they were closer geographically, historically and politically to North Germany and Scandinavia than to Mediterranean Europe, but they didn't because they were not individualistic enough (actually North and West Poland could, and was Protestant under German rule, the modern borders only dating back from the 1945 redistribution).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo View Post
    As I have explained many times, collectivism has nothing to do with egalitarianism.
    I think that egalitarianism is at least as important as individualism when it comes to learn about a country's society.
    What distinguishes Scandinavians from other european is rather egalitarianism than individualism.

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