Individualism Vs. Nationalism

8 August 2016

One of the biggest debates in the respects of sociology and psychology is the debate between individualism and nationalism. Many believe that the human capacity, or ability to be great, is best shown by the individuality of a person, and that a person can serve as an individual to the rest of the society. The other side of the coin is that being human is not anything significant as an individual and that any kind of development is dependent upon nationalism. But, does being in a collective group actually hurt more than being an individual?

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The general question of individual commitment to the social order is stressful. To fit into a collective group takes a toll on the mind, and being an individual seems less harboring. The urge to fit in is an unneeded duty that society requires to make everyone accepted because they then feel “normal. ” Simplified, when people want to fit in, feel accepted, and conform, problems show up. When I want to buy the latest trend of tights or leggings, I end up disappointing myself.

I can’t physically fit into most trends or they don’t look well on me. It mentally affects me. I put myself down, convincing myself I just can’t wear those really “cute” clothes. As a girl especially, to look “cute” is how many feel comfortable. Those who don’t feel comfortable in their own skin because of the glorified image of “fitting in” tend to be most critical to themselves ,and where suicide rolls in, on a personal stage. To understand how personal, suicide can be examined.

Many people have argued that suicide is a very personal act, so much so that it only involves the will and the thought process of just the individual who commits suicide. There are many social currents that could explain and predict a person’s tendencies to commit suicide related to individualism, such as the urge to fit in. The mental pain that comes along with not fitting in with a collective group drives people to hurt. So, does being, or trying to be, in a collective group worth losing happiness over? Collectivism is the idea of mob mentality.

Doesn’t sound too positive or happy when referred to as a mob, does it? When people are in a group, they sometimes stop thinking and just go with the wishes of their peers. When someone is unwilling to think for themselves, and accept the wishes of the people around them, it looks and smells a lot like a collective. So, stressing over becoming one with society is hurtful. Trying to fit in is hurtful. Suicide is hurtful. Not thinking for yourself is hurtful. If being in a group doesn’t lead to any of those things, then the group itself has already taken control.

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