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Relational Models and Horizontal & Vertical Individualism-Collectivism:
Unformatted Document Text:  Relational Models 2 aspects are significant in only one culture, comparisons between cultures are necessarily purely descriptive. For example, to observe that in one culture family celebrations involve deceased ancestors, whereas in another culture deceased ancestors do not participate in family celebrations by itself does not illuminate much about the cultures beyond that aspect. Similarly, if there is no variance between cultures, then no comparison at all is possible. Consequently, intercultural researchers comparing interpersonal relationships should employ variables that have established track records both in interpersonal and in intercultural research Two variables that have been used extensively in intercultural research to compare and contrast different cultures and that have well established counterparts in interpersonal communication are the dimensions of individualism/collectivism and power-distance. Their counterparts in interpersonal communication are concepts of affiliation, which is related to intimacy, closeness, and warmth, on the one hand, and control, which is related to power, hierarchy, and status, on the other hand. Individualism and Collectivism In intercultural research, the variable that has been most thoroughly studied is probably the individualistic/collectivistic dimension (Triandis, 1989). Individualistic cultures focus on independence and personal identity whereas collectivistic cultures focus on interdependence and group harmony (Hofstede, 1984, 1991; Triandis, 1995). Independence, creativity, self-reliance, solitude, and self-actualization are valued in individualistic cultures, whereas reciprocity, obligation, duty security, tradition, dependence, harmony, obedience to authority, and equilibrium are valued in collectivistic cultures (Triandis, 1989).

Authors: Koerner, Ascan.
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Relational Models
2
aspects are significant in only one culture, comparisons between cultures are necessarily
purely descriptive. For example, to observe that in one culture family celebrations involve
deceased ancestors, whereas in another culture deceased ancestors do not participate in
family celebrations by itself does not illuminate much about the cultures beyond that
aspect. Similarly, if there is no variance between cultures, then no comparison at all is
possible. Consequently, intercultural researchers comparing interpersonal relationships
should employ variables that have established track records both in interpersonal and in
intercultural research
Two variables that have been used extensively in intercultural research to compare and
contrast different cultures and that have well established counterparts in interpersonal
communication are the dimensions of individualism/collectivism and power-distance.
Their counterparts in interpersonal communication are concepts of affiliation, which is
related to intimacy, closeness, and warmth, on the one hand, and control, which is related to
power, hierarchy, and status, on the other hand.
Individualism and Collectivism
In intercultural research, the variable that has been most thoroughly studied is probably
the individualistic/collectivistic dimension (Triandis, 1989). Individualistic cultures focus
on independence and personal identity whereas collectivistic cultures focus on
interdependence and group harmony (Hofstede, 1984, 1991; Triandis, 1995).
Independence, creativity, self-reliance, solitude, and self-actualization are valued in
individualistic cultures, whereas reciprocity, obligation, duty security, tradition,
dependence, harmony, obedience to authority, and equilibrium are valued in collectivistic
cultures (Triandis, 1989).


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