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

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Social Values


  • 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


  • 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.


  • 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

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” .


  • 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


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


#Social Values

#Sociological Concepts

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