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A number of sociologists and cultural psychologists claim that the United States is a predominantly individualistic country. This article uses a unidimensional index of individualism and collectivism to analyze one of the most debated sociopolitical issues in America: gun ownership and gun control. It tests the hypothesis that the widespread gun ownership in the United States and prevailing attitudes toward gun control represent competing individualistic and collectivistic cultural traditions, respectively. The findings indicate that the index is one of the predictors of gun ownership and of attitudes about gun permits.


This article was originally published in Sociological Perspectives, available at DOI: 10.1525/sop.2007.50.2.229

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