Materialism or Community?
"It seems like we in the West have made a tradeoff between self-reliance and physical comforts and social well being. So, which is more important?" asks a Notre Dame psychology professor. "There seems to be two competing ideas that preoccupy American minds," says psychology professor Darcia Narvaez. "First, that we should be independent and self-reliant and tough-minded (with the flip side that being dependent, needy and soft hearted are bad). This is the Marlboro Man of tobacco company fame. And a second idea, contrarily, is that we don't want to put out more effort than is needed--we want a comfortable life."