Individualism and collectivism in the personal meaning system of elderly adults: The United States and Congo/Zaire as an example

Gerben J. Westerhof, Freya Dittmann-Kohli, Michael W. Katzko

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Two problems in cross-cultural research are the increasingly complex definitions of individualism and collectivism and the relation between culture and self. A cultural psychological perspective on the construction of meaning can address both problems. In attributing meaning to self and life, people appropriate cultural values so that even the most authentic level of experience, the self, is culturally constituted. People are expected to use different attributes of individualism and collectivism in qualitatively different ways in relation to age-specific life contexts. The meaning of self and life was studied among American and Congolese elderly by the use of a sentence completion task. Each group showed a qualitatively different constellation of individualism and collectivism beyond cultural differences in the level of individualism and collectivism.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)649-676
Number of pages28
JournalJournal of cross-cultural psychology
Volume31
Issue number6
Early online date1 Nov 2000
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2000
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Individualism and collectivism in the personal meaning system of elderly adults: The United States and Congo/Zaire as an example'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this