Value (personal and cultural)
||This article contains weasel words: vague phrasing that often accompanies biased or unverifiable information. (September 2013)|
A personal value is absolute or relative and ethical value, the assumption of which can be the basis for ethical action. A value system is a set of consistent values and measures. A principle value is a foundation upon which other values and measures of integrity are based.
Some values are physiologically determined and are normally considered objective, such as a desire to avoid physical pain or to seek pleasure. Other values are considered subjective, vary across individuals and cultures, and are in many ways aligned with belief and belief systems. Types of values include ethical/moral values, doctrinal/ideological (religious, political) values, social values, and aesthetic values. It is debated whether some values that are not clearly physiologically determined, such as altruism, are intrinsic, and whether some, such as acquisitiveness, should be classified as vices or virtues. Values have been studied in various disciplines: anthropology, behavioral economics, business ethics, corporate governance, moral philosophy, political sciences, social psychology, sociology and theology to name a few.
Values can be defined as broad preference concerning appropriate courses of action or outcomes. As such, values reflect a person's sense of right and wrong or what "ought" to be. "Equal rights for all", "Excellence deserves admiration", and "People should be treated with respect and dignity" are representative of values. Values tend to influence attitudes and behavior.
According to Morris Massey, values form during three significant periods:
- imprint period - from birth to 7 years
- modelling period - from 8 to 13 years
- socialization period - from 13 to 21 years
Personal values provide an internal reference for what is good, beneficial, important, useful, beautiful, desirable, constructive, etc. Values generate behaviour and help solve common human problems for survival by comparative rankings of value, the results of which provide answers to questions of why people do what they do and in what order they choose to do them.
Over time the public expression of personal values that groups of people find important in their day-to-day lives, lay the foundations of law, custom and tradition. Recent research has thereby stressed the implicit nature of value communication.
Personal values exist in relation to cultural values, either in agreement with or divergence from prevailing norms. A culture is a social system that shares a set of common values, in which such values permit social expectations and collective understandings of the good, beautiful, constructive, etc. Without normative personal values, there would be no cultural reference against which to measure the virtue of individual values and so culture identity would disintegrate.
Wyatt Woodsmall points out that "'Criteria' are used to refer to 'the standards on which an evaluation is based'." Values relate then to what one wants and in what order one wants them; criteria can only refer to the evidences for achieving values and act as a comparative standard that one applies in order to evaluate whether goals have been met / values satisfied.
Individual cultures emphasize values which their members broadly share. One can often identify the values of a society by noting which people receive honor or respect. In the United States of America, for example, professional athletes at the top levels in some sports receive more honor (measured in terms of monetary payment) than university professors. Surveys show that voters in the United States would not willingly elect an atheist as president, suggesting belief in a God as a generally shared value there.
Values clarification differs from cognitive moral education:
- Value clarification consists of "helping people clarify what their lives are for and what is worth working for. It encourages students to define their own values and to understand others' values."
- Cognitive moral education builds on the belief that students should learn to value things like democracy and justice as their moral reasoning develops.
Values relate to the norms of a culture, but they are more global and abstract than norms. Norms provide rules for behavior in specific situations, while values identify what should be judged as good or evil. While norms are standards, patterns, rules and guides of expected behavior, values are abstract concepts of what is important and worthwhile. Flying the national flag on a holiday is a norm, but it reflects the value of patriotism. Wearing dark clothing and appearing solemn are normative behaviors to manifest respect at a funeral. Different cultures reflect values differently and to different levels of emphasis. "Over the last three decades, traditional-age college students have shown an increased interest in personal well-being and a decreased interest in the welfare of others." Values seemed to have changed, affecting the beliefs, and attitudes of the students.
Members take part in a culture even if each member's personal values do not entirely agree with some of the normative values sanctioned in that culture. This reflects an individual's ability to synthesize and extract aspects valuable to them from the multiple subcultures they belong to.
If a group member expresses a value that seriously conflicts with the group's norms, the group's authority may carry out various ways of encouraging conformity or stigmatizing the non-conforming behavior of that member. For example, imprisonment can result from conflict with social norms that the state has established as law.[clarification needed]
Furthermore, institutions in the global economy can genuinely respect values which are of three kinds based on a "triangle of coherence". In the first instance, a value may come to expression within the World Trade Organization (WTO), as well as (in the second instance) within the United Nations - particularly in the Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) - providing a framework for global legitimacy through accountability. In the third instance, the expertise of member-driven international organizations and civil society depends on the incorporation of flexibility in the rules, to preserve the expression of identity in a globalized world.
Nonetheless, in a war-like economic competition, differing views may contradict each other, particularly in the field of culture. Thus audiences in Europe may regard a movie as an artistic creation and grant it benefits from special treatment, while audiences in the United States may see it as mere entertainment, whatever its artistic merits. EU policies based on the notion of "cultural exception" can become juxtaposed with the policy of "cultural specificity" on the liberal Anglo-Saxon side. Indeed, international law traditionally treats films as property and the content of television programs as a service. Consequently cultural interventionist policies get opposed to Anglo-Saxon liberal position, causing failures in international negotiations.
- Attitude (psychology)
- Clyde Kluckhohn and his Value Orientation Theory.
- Hofstede's Framework for Assessing Culture
- Intercultural communication
- Rokeach Value Survey
- Spiral Dynamics
- The Cock and the Jewel
- Value theory
- World Values Survey
- Rokeach, M. (1973). The Nature of Human Values. New York: judge coronel The Free Press.
- Common values? Fifty-Two Cases of Value Semantics Copying on Corporate Websites by Steffen Roth. Human Systems Management 32(4) (2013): 249-265. DOI: 10.3233/HSM-130801
- Santrock, J.W. (2007). A Topical Approach to Life-Span Development. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill
- Lamy, Pascal, WTO Director-General, Speech to the European University Institute in Florence on 19 February 2011 (http://www.wto.org/english/news_e/sppl_e/sppl187_e.htm)
- Hacker, Violaine (2011a), "Building Medias Industry while promoting a community of values in the globalization: from quixotic choices to pragmatic boon for EU Citizens", Politické Védy-Journal of Political Science, Slovakia, pp. 64-74.
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