A Psychological Analysis of the Impact of the Drift From Collectivism Value Orientation to Individualism in Africa
Keywords:Collectivism, Individualism, value, Africa
This paper psychologically reviewed the changing African collectivistic value to individualistic value orientation. Collectivism implies the type of society which care and value the goals, norms, solidarity, and identity of group more than that of individuals while individualism is a type of society which care and value the individual’s interest, goals and aspiration more than that of group, even at the detriment of the group. There seems to be observable progressive shift in traditional extended family orientation which strongly is the foundation of all values to the contemporarily small nuclear family system where every individual strongly seeks for autonomy or selfindependence. Theoretically, relational models explored the types of socioeconomic relations found across cultures which bound people together and motivate collectivism. The inherent characteristics of colonial lifestyle, administration, business, and philosophy rooted individualism in Nigeria through formal education, knowledge and skill acquisition to the continual economic integration, competition, and globalization of culture and values. The level of drift in these value systems could have directly led to psychological feelings of loneliness, psychological distance, psychological disparity, psychological insecurity, individual rationalization of values, multiplication of mental stressors, and could have indirectly led to increase in psychological problems, crime rate, corruption, antisocial behaviours, and marriage problems that have bedevilled the African nations in the recent time. It may also have positively led to economic breakthrough, self-confidence, mental prioritization of goals, and fast reasoning. But Africa is not developed for individualistic value system. The condition demands that African developing countries should lean to imbibe their collectivistic value system in their countries developmental plan with the help of professionals and other explored system that encourage collectivism to achieve both economic and human development.