accessories, opinions, artistic expression

America, men, thinkers

American, work, blogging

culture, unique, independent


expression, opinions, style

independence, assurance, believe, arrogance



rights, beliefs, expression

rugged, heroic, alone

selfish, belief, individual

spirit, west, alone

to set apart, style, personality

unique, innovation, creative

unique, standing out, true to self

Unique,To Express, Ideas


égoïsme, égocentrisme, seul

égoïsme, capitalisme, initiative

égoïsme, tendance

égocentrisme, compétition, pragmatisme


égoisme, conflits, solitude

Égoïsme, société moderne

confiné, repliement, égoïste

défaut, opportunisme, solitude

groupes, problèmes, facebook,

identité, seul, égoïsme

Inefficace, égoïsme, argent

libéralisme, égoïsme, argent

mauvais,faisant partie de la nature humaine

seul, à part, égoïsme

solitude, égoïsme, société


Par opposition à notre approche très négative de l'individualisme, votre vision met en avant des idées telles que l'indépendance, l'expression et la création.

Il est vrai que les États-Unis ont toujours encouragé l'accomplissement personnel.

Quel impact cela a-t-il sur la société américaine ?


It is true that the United States has always encouraged personal development and personal accomplishments.  We believe that each individual should have the freedom to express themselves in any way, which often includes their accomplishments, level of education, and often goes as far as clothing and accessories.  Not only is America a melting pot of all cultures, but it also promotes a sense of individualism in such a way that allows everyone to feel unique in their own way.  In school especially, teachers encourage their students to be different from one another, to have a mind of their own, to speak their minds, and to have their own voice.  In American families, parents often encourage their children to find their independence and move out to live on their own as early as after high school (18 years old is the legal age parents are able to stop supporting their children).  The idea of individualism has definitely shaped much of the American culture and values.

I was very surprised to find that the French view of individualism is so negative. Almost every answer included a view that it was selfish to be so individual and that it was very lonely and separated to do so. Why is this view so popular in France? Is there more of an appreciation for team work than individual work? 

Usually, I think of individualism as self expression and uniqueness but I don't think it has to also mean that team work and working towards a goal for a group of people are ignored. That seems like the connotation for France - is that true? What do you think of individualism in the sense of self expression, like wearing a certain style of clothes or listening to a type of music that not everyone else does? 

It's part of our national mythology for people to go find their own space to do their own thing.  I'm thinking of the explorers, the Pilgrims, the signers of the Declaration of Independence, and for some reason the cowboys. A lot of the "history" we learned in elementary school was about people who didn't want to play by someone else's rules, so they left for someplace where they could live the way they wanted to.  I think that is one place the positive American view of individualism comes from.

Where do you think the French sense of individualism as a bad thing comes from?  Is there actually a difference in how the French and the Americans would judge a person who, for example, stood up for an unpopular belief, or is it just the case that the words mean slightly different things in English and in French?

Individualism is a strong point of America. Radicals who protest, and who are also willing to die for what they believe in, whether by themselves or in a small group is common in America. Indeed, it is these fighters that have contributed so much to the American society, enabling minorities (race, religion, sexual orientation, sex, etc.) to have equal rights, and have made the USA the liberal opportunistic place that it is today.

Speaking of radicals who protest, I would think that since there are so many strikes in France, the idea of standing up for rights are quite popular in France.  But perhaps this is only done in groups and one person standing up for a particular right would be considered self-centered?  Is that the case?  In America, courageous individuals in the past have stood against many others in order to fight for certain rights and to prove certain points, for example Martin Luther King.  From the point of view of the French, would he be considered an "egocentric" individual??

Along the lines of what Vinnie said, what about Gandhi? He was a very strong individual. Gandhi stood up for what he believed in by himself, and other people started to follow him. Would he also be considered "egocentric."

Would that still be considered individualism, considering how many people followed and stood behind the same ideas as Martin Luther King and Gandhi? 

Après avoir lu vos réponses, je pense que nous ne donnons clairement pas le même sens à ce mot.

« Égoïste » et « égocentrique » ne sont clairement pas des idées que l'on associe à Gandhi ou Luther King, mais il me semble tout aussi difficile de leurs associer le mot « individualisme ».

De même, quand Madeleine parle d'expression et de recherche de la différence par les vêtements portés ou la musique écoutée, cela ne m'évoque pas vraiment l'« individualisme » (pourtant étymologiquement, cela devrait).

Pourquoi n'y-a-t-il que le sens négatif qui subsiste ? Je ne sais pas. Il est vrai qu'il y a dans la culture française l'idée du support de la société (je pense aux systèmes de retraite et de sécurité sociale) ce qui va un peu à l'encontre de l'individualisme décrit par Kieran.

On parle aussi parfois de l'individualisme pour désigner le fait que les gens sont plus fermés, sont moins ouverts aux autres par exemple dans les transports en communs.