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INDIVIDUALISM AND COLLECTIVISM: THE CASE OF LEBANON

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Abstract:

This study focused on whether people with different individualistic and collectivistic (I-C) tendencies speak different languages, belong to different religious groups and are of different gender. These three independent variables were examined using data from 517 college students in Lebanon: a multi-lingual society where both worldviews (I and C) co-exist. The Twenty Statement Test, Triandis' Attitude items, and ten of Schwartz's Value items were used to empirically test the I-C orientations and the above variables. Results indicated that language plays a primary role in individuals' orientations; respondents who used the Arabic language were consistently more collectivist than those who used either English or French. The discussion focused on the role of second language, specifically, English or French, which when learned by Arabic native speakers, enhanced the accessibility of private self-cognitions. Religion seemed to impact individuals' orientations in certain domains, but not consistently. Gender did not appear to be of significance in I-C orientation in this study.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2224/sbp.2001.29.5.503

Publication date: January 1, 2001

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