Comparative Analysis of Cultural Ideologies in Norway and the United States

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Comparative Analysis of Cultural Ideologies in Norway and the United States

The intent of this paper is to examine individualistic and communitarian cultural ideologies within two distinctly different political environments. The first challenge in comparing two nations is deciding which approach is most appropriate. There are several approaches in political science that have proven most beneficial when making comparisons. This study will use a comparative government approach to examine the political institutions, processes, constitutions, and functions of government within each of the two countries selected. The countries that have been chosen for this study are United States and Norway, respectively. Gregory Scott believes
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The problem is that our individual actions, each perfectly consistent with our individual preferences, can and often do combine to produce collective outcomes that none of us would have chosen (Bickers, 11). And thus lead to the need for protection against those outcomes, administered through a democratic government.
There are several authors that are noted for their dynamic research on the communitarian movement. The spokesperson for the contemporary communitarian movement is Amitai Etzioni. He explains that communitarians believe that the fundamental and central political problem is finding the right amount of togetherness and common concern. He continues, if people are to individualistic, they fail to support each other’s efforts and to respect each other’s needs. If people are too unified, they become authoritarian and attempt to use the state to impose a common set of beliefs and practices.

Like ancient philosophers, communitarians find the lack of unified purpose and direction in society to be a crucial problem. Those who speak of the joys of not associating with others, but of being left alone by them, are most closely associated with individualism. And their noteworthy spokesperson is author and abolitionist Henry David Thoreau. This early author, observing the pressures, expectations, and demands made upon us by the societies in which we live, concluded that “the mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation” (Scott, 51). The
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