Social Values: Introduction, Definitions, Examples, Functions and Importance

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Social Values

Social Values

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Introduction

  • It is a social product

  • Social values help in understanding the culture of a society

  • Values help in bringing about the stability of the social order

  • Provide guidelines for conduct and they also help in social control

  • Tell Something is good and worthwhile.

  • In short, values represent the range of ideas about what men should do in their life

  • The values of a society provide goals for its members to aim for

Definitions

  • Values are a group of conceptions of the relative desirability of things – G.R. Leslie

  • According to J.H. Johnson, “values are general standards and maybe regarded as higher order norms.”

  • It defines what is worth having and worth striving for, according to Michael Haralambos.

  • Social values are a set of moral principles defined by society dynamics, institutions, traditions and cultural beliefs. These values are implicit guidelines that provide orientation to individuals and corporations to conduct themselves properly within a social system.

Examples

  • Honesty

  • Hard work

  • Fair play

  • Health

  • Status

  • Values can be patriotism and sacrifice, cooperation, democracy et cetera which guides our behaviours in different ways.

patriotism and sacrifice

Patriotism and Sacrifice

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Functions and Importance of Values

  • They provide goals for the members to aim for

  • Provide stability and uniformity in group interaction

  • They bring legitimacy to the rules that govern specific activities

  • Help to bring about some kind of adjustment between different sets of rules

Aspects of Values

  • General values like freedom, fundamental rights

  • Specific values for e.g. Physical health.

  • Abstract value - it is abstract in nature and depends on likes and dislikes like choosing one actor over the other

  • Values that are hierarchically arranged

Parsons View

  • According to Talcott Parsons, value consensus forms the fundamental principle in society.

  • When all the members are committed to same values

  • it provides a basis for unity and cooperation and this helps in building common goals

  • Parsons said that the main work of sociology is to analyses the “ institutionalization of patterns of value orientation in the social system”.

Conclusion

  • When role, norms and values are in a state of balance it is known as social equilibrium.

  • This equilibrium can be attained with socialization and social control which further helps in maintaining order in the society

social equilibrium

Social Equilibrium

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MCQs

1. Learned and shared cultural products that justify certain type of behaviours in a given society are known as:

  1. Norm

  2. Value

  3. Culture

  4. Custom

Ans. C

2. Social values primarily concern themselves with-

  1. organized social life as a whole

  2. disorganized social life

  3. organized social groups

  4. organized institutions

Ans. D

3. According to whom internalized shared values are regarded as playing a decisive role in the social integration of the society ?

  1. Parsons

  2. Merton

  3. Durkheim

  4. Malinowski

Ans. A

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