All societies are obsessed with what others think, from individuals, to families to governments - it's called the public image to keep at all cost. Even in affirming "one's individuality" (no one really knows what this means - except some abstract conceptual definition), one is also keeping a public image.
Whether mainstream or marginal, seeking some form of approval for thoughts, acts, seeking some form of affinity, resonance, recognition and some form of support is INHERENT to all of us. There is no escape.
What changes from one individual, one family, one government, one country to another, is the degree of this need for recognition, for approval, for support/solidarity.
If for example from a scale of 1 to 10, some people (and derivatives - family, society, government etc...) will rate around 2 and some will rate around 9. 1 and 10 being the extremes of nearly total independence of others and total dependence on others.
It is clear that the more power you have, the less dependent you are. The less dependent you are, the less the need for public recognition, affinity, resonance, gratification, recognition, support, the less the concern for maintaining the public image. And the more vulnerable as in less powerful you are, the more the need. It seems to me kind of logical.
So by correlation, the more powerful you are (power as in means of subsisting, decision making, range of choices/options, possibility of knowing and exercising your rights, of pursuing leisurely/intellectual/creative interests...etc) less reliance means more possibility to express your "individuality" - in other words, power as defined above, forms the basis of the process of individuation.
I am aware am using loose concepts here, but overall, I think the above is a good yardstick for a basic understanding.
And both extremes, on a scale of 1 to 10, let's say 1/2 to 8/10 are fertile grounds for all kinds of independence and dependency delusions and abuses.
to be continued.