Are Americans Exceptionally Individualistic?

Christine Whelan | Posted on 05/13/10

In a terrific post on one of my favorite sites, Sociological Images, we learn that our assumptions of American individualism aren't really that accurate.

If you define individualism as “gives priority to personal liberty” then, Claude Fischer, at Made in America, concludes

“There is considerable evidence, ” he writes, “that Americans are not more individualistic – in fact, are less individualistic – than other peoples.”

According to surveys conducted in America, Great Britian and several European nations, when it comes to questions like “Right or wrong should be a matter of personal conscience,” and "People should support their country even if the country is in the wrong,” Americans are at or near the bottom of the charts: We're *less* individualistic than the French, Germans or British.

Check out all the charts here. Does this mess with your head? It should.

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