Differences in Individualistic and Collectivistic Tendencies Among College Students in Japan and the United States
Preprint version. International Journal of Comparative Sociology, Volume 51, Issue 1-2, February 1, 2010, pages 59-84.
The definitive version is available at https://doi.org/10.1177/0020715209343424.
It is a worldwide stereotype that Japanese, compared to Americans, are oriented more toward collectivism. But this stereotypical notion of more collectivism among Japanese, which typically stems from a view that individualism and collectivism stand at opposite ends of a continuum, has been filled with dashed empirical findings, especially in a sample of college students. In the current study, following the view that individualism and collectivism are two separate concepts rather than one with two extremes, we test and compare both individualistic and collectivistic tendencies among college students in Japan and the United States. A review of theories and research on this dimension of cultural variability across the two diverse cultures and the literature on societal pressure of collectivity and on parents as primary socialization agents of culturally expected values lead to two hypotheses: 1) Japanese college students tend less toward individualism than do Americans, and 2) Japanese college students tend less toward collectivism than do Americans. Analysis of identical survey data from college students in Japan and in the United States provides strong support for both hypotheses.
Social and Behavioral Sciences
2010 Sage Publications.