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New Study Challenges Asian Collectivism

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A new study reveals that political participation and collective action are more common in Finland than in Cambodia.

A new book based on extensive survey data compares individualism and collectivism in Europe and Asia.

A Critical Evaluation of Individualism, Collectivism and Collective Action aims to develop a deeper understanding concerning trade unionism, the level of collectivism, and the capacity to create collective actions. This comparative study uses Finland as an example of an individualistic society and Cambodia as an example of a collectivist society.  

The book contains an extensive empirical analysis of the differences between collectivism and individualism. It looks at, among other things, political participation, views on trade union membership, family values, trust within the society, and the experience of efficacy in collective action. The authors, Professor Tuomo Rautakivi, Dr. Ritthikorn Siriprasertchok, and Professor Harri Melin, specialize in ASEAN Studies, public policy, and social change.

The study challenges the common assumption that Asian countries are particularly collectivistic while European countries are individualistic. According to the results, it is much more difficult to create collective action outside of the family unit in Cambodia than it is in Finland – a country that is usually considered very individualistic. Both political participation and collective action are more common in Finland than in Cambodia.  

This Open Access book published by Tampere University Press is available in e.g., Trepo-repository and OAPEN Library.

Tuomo Rautakivi, Ritthikorn Siriprasertchok & Harri Melin:
A Critical Evaluation of Individualism, Collectivism and Collective Action.
Tampere: Tampere University Press, 2022.
https://urn.fi/URN:ISBN:978-952-359-036-6

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