With this thesis it was never my aim to criticize the ‘collective life’ that my parents have shown me. It is more a process of trying to understand my parents, and, to analyze and explore why I struggled and obsessed over protecting my space from them. As well as to look at why, even now, I still feel fragile about the boundaries of my own space. Unexpectedly the roots of community spirit, which are common in most families in Korea, were informed by the practice of rice farming—depending on geographical conditions. I’m going to go into more detail on this shortly, but first, I will briefly discuss both collectivism and individualism.

Firstly, collectivism is a value that is characterized by emphasizing cohesion between individuals and prioritizes the group over oneself. In this culture, relationships and interconnectivity with members of their groups play a central role in each individual’s identity. As a result, people who are generous, helpful, and dependable to members of society are regarded as “good” people. On the other hand, individualism encourages people to value independence and self-reliance, as well as exercising their goals and desires rather than prioritizing the gain and state of social groups. Within individualistic cultures, people expect to learn and discover various personalities and values in society. Individualism clusters can be found most often in North America and Western Europe, while Eastern countries tend to be more collectivist—such as China, Japan, and South Korea—as well as countries within South America.