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the principle of ownership of the means of production, by the state or the people
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


  1. any politicoeconomic doctrine which advocates communal or state ownership, and communal or state control of the means of production and distribution, e.g. COMMUNISM OR SOCIALISM.
  2. any political system in which communal or state ownership and control of the means of production and distribution is the dominant mode of economic organization. Actual forms of organization under collectivism vary widely. Thus, in some contexts, collectivism may involve a large measure of collective self-management.
Collins Dictionary of Sociology, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2000
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a feature of socialist and communist social relations and a principle of communist morality that reveals the essence of the relationship between an individual and the society as a whole, the personality and the collective. Collectivism is the opposite of individualism. Historically, as a moral principle it originates even under the conditions of bourgeois society, within the working-class milieu, in the united actions of proletarians against the power of capital. Only in socialist society, however, does collectivism become a universal principle of relations between people in all spheres of social life, a prime requirement of personal moral conduct.

The social basis of socialist collectivism is public ownership of the means of production, which eliminates the exploitation of one person by another. Collectivism presupposes relations between society and the individual such that the development of society as a whole creates favorable conditions for the all-around development of the individual, and the development of the individual is the precondition for the progress of all of society. The main requirements that follow from the principle of collectivism in relations between people are comradely mutual assistance, the conscious acceptance and performance of one’s duty to society, the disciplined combining of social interests with those of the individual, and respect for the collective and its interests. The principle of collectivism presupposes a high degree of personal responsibility on the individual’s part: each person must answer not only for his or her own behavior and life-style but also for the fate of the collective and ultimately for the fate of society.

The program of the CPSU has as one of its aims the strengthening of collectivist tendencies in all spheres of life. The moral code of the builders of communism includes the very important principle: “collectivism and comradely mutual assistance; all for one and one for all.”

“Joint planned labor by the members of society, their daily participation in the management of state and public affairs, and the development of communist relations of comradely cooperation and mutual support result in the transformation of people’s consciousness along the lines of collectivism, industriousness, and humanism” (Programma KPSS, 1972, p. 117).

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Theoretical literature suggests that individualistic cultures, attribution style, and causal reasoning are generally directed toward the person rather than the situation or social context, whereas, in collectivistic cultures, social context, and social roles are prevalent in causal reasoning (102,103,104,105).
Following the distinction in motivations to share resources discussed above, we assume that in urban, individualistic communities, resource sharing will be instrumental, while in rural, collectivistic communities, resource sharing will be consummatory (value based).
With collectivistic cultures' emphasis on collaboration over competition, Native-American students also display a preference for group work.
We first examined the association between materialism and well-being to test the hypothesis that materialism is negatively associated with consumer well-being in the collectivistic culture of Malaysia (Hypothesis 1).
In addition, in country like Pakistan where collectivistic culture prevails and characterized as preference of collective goals over personal ones and tightened social bonds that offer safety from loneliness and stress related diseases (Mayers, 1996; Shwartz, 1994).
Although it is collectivistic and irrational for Israel to identify itself by reference to a race or religion, this flaw is certainly not what motivates Israel's enemies to wipe it off the map.
To what extent could collectivistic approaches and practices represent valuable assets in fostering entrepreneurial activities and wealth creation in such cultures?
By and large, people living in collectivistic cultures like Pakistan, India and China stressed upon and putting into practice loyalty to social norms, values and interpersonal relationships.
Individualistic (emphasis on the individual) versus collectivistic (emphasis on the group) viewpoints must be addressed in order to adequately discern the diverse cultural perspectives of trauma and resilience.
However, they were developed in an individualistic culture such as the United States, and their application to Christians in a collectivistic culture such as Korea appeared to have limitations (Choi, Kim, Lee, & Lee, 2002).