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Value (personal and cultural)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
A personal and/or cultural value is an absolute or relative 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. Those values which are not
physiologically determined and normally considered objective, such as a desire to
avoid physical pain, seek pleasure, etc., 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
which aren't clearly physiologically determined are intrinsic such as altruism and
whether some such as acquisitiveness should be valued as vices or virtues. Values
have typically been studied in sociology; anthropology; social psychology; moral
philosophy and business ethics.
Personal values
Values are an integral part of every culture. with worldview and personality, they generate
behavior. Being part of a culture that shares a common core set of values creates expectations
and predictability without which a culture would disintegrate and its members would lose
their personal identity and sense of worth. Values tell people what is good, beneficial,
important, useful, beautiful, desirable, constructive...etc. They answer the question of why
people do what they do. Values help people solve common human problems for survival.
Over time, they become the roots of traditions that groups of people find important in their
day-to-day lives.
Cultural values
The Inglehart-Welzel Cultural Map of the World, created by sociopolitical scientists Ronald
Inglehart and Christian Welzel based on the World Values Survey.
Groups, societies, or cultures have values that are largely shared by their members. The
values identify those objects, conditions or characteristics that members of the society
consider important; that is, valuable. In the United States, for example, values might include
material comfort, wealth, competition, individualism or religiosity . The values of a society
can often be identified by noting which people receive honor or respect. In the US, for
example, professional athletes at the top levels in some sports are honored (in the form of
monetary payment) more than college professors. Surveys show that voters in the United
States would be reluctant to elect an atheist as a president, suggesting that belief in God is a
value. There is a difference between values clarification and cognitive moral education.
Values clarification is, "helping people clarify what their lives are for and what is worth
working for. Students are encouraged to define their own values and understand others'
values."[1] Cognitive moral education is based on the belief that students should learn to value
things like democracy and justice as their moral reasoning develops."[1]
Values are related to the norms of a culture, but they are more global and abstract than norms.
Norms are rules for behavior in specific situations, while values identify what should be
judged as good or evil. 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 at a
funeral. In certain cultures they reflect the values of respect and support of friends and
family. Different cultures reflect different values. "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."[1] Values seemed to have changed, affecting the beliefs, and
attitudes of college 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 the 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 is in serious conflict with the group's norms, the
group's authority may carry out various ways of encouraging conformity or stigmatizing the
non-conforming behavior of its members. For example, imprisonment can result from
conflict with social norms that have been established as law.
1. ^ a b c Santrock, J.W. (2007). A Topical Approach to Life-Span Development. New York, NY:
Norm (sociology)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Shaking hands after a sports match is an example of a social norm.
Social norms are the behavioral expectations and cues within a society or group. This
sociological term has been defined as "the rules that a group uses for appropriate and
inappropriate values, beliefs, attitudes and behaviors. These rules may be explicit or implicit.
Failure to follow the rules can result in severe punishments, including exclusion from the
group."[1] They have also been described as the "customary rules of behavior that coordinate
our interactions with others."[2]
The social norms indicate the established and approved ways of doing things, of dress, of
speech and of appearance. These vary and evolve not only through time but also vary from
one age group to another and between social classes and social groups. What is deemed to be
acceptable dress, speech or behavior in one social group may not be accepted in another.
Deference to the social norms maintains one's acceptance and popularity within a particular
group; ignoring the social norms risks one becoming unacceptable, unpopular or even an
outcast from a group. Social norms tend to be tacitly established and maintained through
body language and non-verbal communication between people in their normal social
We soon come to know when and where it is appropriate to say certain things, to use
certain words, to discuss certain topics or wear certain clothes, and when not to. Such
knowledge about cultural norms is important for impression management,[3] which is an
individual's regulation of their nonverbal behaviour. We also come to know through
experience what types of people we can and cannot discuss certain topics with or wear
certain types of dress around. Mostly this knowledge is derived experientially.
Social norms can also be viewed as statements that regulate behavior and act as informal
social controls. They are usually based in some degree of consensus and are maintained
through social sanctions. Three models explain normative rule content:
Focus on the actions of one's personal ego
Focus on ego's reactions to actions of alternative
Negotiation between ego and alternative.
Norms are rules of behavior. They exist as both formal and informal norms, but often the
latter is found to be more strong and reinforced. These informal norms are divided into two:
Folkways: Informal rules and norms whose violation is not offensive, but expected to be
followed. It's a kind of adjusting, accommodating type of habits. It does not invite any
punishment or sanctions, but some reprimands or warnings.
Mores: They are also informal rules that are not written, but result in severe punishments
and social sanction upon the individuals like social and religious exclusions.
Terms related to social norms
A descriptive norm refers to people's perceptions of what is commonly done in specific
situations. An injunctive norm refers to people's perceptions of what is commonly approved
or disapproved of within a particular culture.[4]
Prescriptive Norms are unwritten rules that are understood and followed by society. We do
these every day with out thinking about them.
Proscriptive Norms are unwritten rules that are known by society that you shouldn't do, or
follow. These norms can vary from culture to culture.
Deviance is "nonconformity to a set of norms that are accepted by a significant number of
people in a community or society(Appelbaum, 173)." In simple terms it is behavior that goes
against norms.
Looking Glass-Self is how we see ourselves by interacting with others, seeing how they
perceive us, what others expect from us, and how we should behave.
Definitions of social norms
Norms in the context of Sociology "are principles or rules people are expected to observe;
they represent the dos and don'ts of society (Appelbaum, 173)."
One might also say they are rules that define the behavior that is expected, required, or
acceptable in particular circumstances. They are learned by interacting in society.
Examples of norms
Norms affect very much the way you behave in public. When you enter an elevator, it is
expected that you turn around to face the doors. An example of a social norm violation would
be to enter the elevator and remain facing the rest of the people.
Game-theoretical analysis of norm
A general formal framework that can be used to represent the essential elements of the social
situation surrounding a norm is the repeated game of game theory.
A norm gives a person a rule of thumb for how they should behave. However, a rational
person only acts according to the rule if it is optimal for them. The situation can be described
as follows. A norm gives an expectation of how other people act in a given situation (macro).
A person acts optimally given the expectation (micro). For a norm to be stable, people's
actions must reconstitute the expectation without change (micro-macro feedback loop). A set
of such correct stable expectations is known as a Nash equilibrium. Thus, a stable norm must
constitute a Nash equilibrium.[5]
From a game theoretical point of view, there are two explanations for the vast variety of
norms that exist throughout the world. One is the difference in games. Different parts of the
world may give different environmental contexts and different people may have different
values, which may result in a difference in games. The other is equilibrium selection not
explicable by the game itself. Equilibrium selection is closely related to coordination. For a
simple example, driving is common throughout the world, but in some countries people drive
on the right and in other countries people drive on the left (see coordination game). A
framework called comparative institutional analysis is proposed to deal with the game
theoretical structural understanding of the variety of social norms.
1. ^ Steven N. Durlauf and Lawrence E. Blume (Eds), 'Social Norms' in New Palgrave Dictionary
of Economics, Second Edition, London: Macmillan, (forthcoming)
2. ^ Kamau, C. (2009) Strategising impression management in corporations: cultural knowledge
as capital. In D. Harorimana (Ed) Cultural implications of knowledge sharing, management
and transfer: identifying competitive advantage. Chapter 4. Information Science Reference.
ISBN 978-1-60566-790-4
3. ^ Schultz, Nolan, Cialdini, Goldstein, Griskevicius. (2007). The constructive, destructive, and
reconstructive power of social norms. Psychological Science 18 (5) pp 429–434
4. ^ Bicchieri, Cristina. 2006. The Grammar of Society: The Nature and Dynamics of Social
Norms, New York: Cambridge University Press, Ch. 1