From a psychological perspective, values can be presented as broad preferences of individuals about various actions and outcomes. At this point, they express individuals’ sense of morally justified action. Values also allow people to distinguish between right and wrong, as well as shape their attitudes and perceptions about other individuals. Shared beliefs have influenced the formation of social norms under which people should observe behavioral patterns accepted in society.
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As a result of social development, belief systems have been premised on different norms in terms of morale, ethics, and individual choices. These discrepancies are predetermined by the presence of cultural values that influence people’s perceptions of such issues as the good, evil, or justice. Due to the emerged differences, a number of value theories have been developed. In sociological studies, value theory is associated with individuals’ views that are shared by a community, as well as how those views change under certain conditions.
While discussing the importance of value, many Western theorists, including Max Weber, Talcott Parsons and Emilie Durkheim inclined to believe that values are regarded as independent variables. However, the supporters of traditional sociologists withdrew the concept of value and focus on cultural dimension that builds the foundation for value creation. At this point, although values are often identified with common notions and concepts, their meaning is differently represented across cultures, leading to subjective and objective judgments.
This is of particular concern to religious norms that often influence people’s attitude toward the political power and social norms. For instance, some countries consider the important role of religion in shaping social, cultural and political relations whereas other societies insist on the separation of religion and social system because the former is more associated with personal values.
In fact, considering social values as products of individual behavior, the emphasis on behaviorism and observational philosophy should be placed. The introduced theoretical frameworks are influential for development of educational systems that encourage a learning process as a set of activities focused on understanding morale, ethics, and law. The learning process reflects individual’s engagement in gaining experience about acceptable norms of behavior, as well as deeper understanding of self-image.
Finally, learning provides individuals with the accepted definitions of the right and wrong. In order to control value creation, social sciences refer to the political, social, and cultural institutions studying various dimensions of human organization based on empirical evidence. The proposed framework contributes to comprehending the common values that are accepted in societies, as well as those shaped in various cultures.
As it has been mentioned before, social values can refer to cultural norms that are considered in a broader context. Hence, norms create rules and principles of behavior in various situations whereas values define what actions should be considered as morally right or wrong.
Although cultural norms base on broader meanings, their understanding differs in various societies. Although cultural values are regarded as objective principles, they are still premised on individual’s attitudes toward specific traditions and norms recognized in a particular culture. Hence, values reflect the human ability to analyze and synthesize various aspects and principles that bear especial meaning to them.
For instance, various communities have a specific set of principles and rules that distinguish them from other communities. This is of particular concern to professional communities in which members adhere to specific philosophy and vision of an organization. Hence, although many company’s values differ, the development of global standards influence their normative systems. Due to the globalization process, organizations often address such issues as cultural diversity, human equality, and individual values.
Values can change across time to adjust to new conditions and challenges. If a member of a community adheres to a value that contradicts the commonly accepted norms, the community’s authority can impose certain regulations that encourage adherence and conformity to accepted behaviors.
As a result of such violations, fixed values are often controlled by legislature. The development of the legal system has contributed to the development of the international law that introduces global standards in such fields as healthcare, education, culture. There are many non-governmental organizations, including the World Health Organization, the United Nations, and the World Trade Organization, that provide consistent frameworks for shaping global principles of accountability and legitimacy.
In conclusion, values constitute overwhelming definitions that encompass personal belief systems and socially accepted norms. They also refer to the preferences about such concepts as moral action, ethics, and human behavior. In the course of social development, theorists have worked on various frameworks that can justify value creation across cultures and communities. Although the presence of diverse value systems, there are specific standards that should be followed by the world community.
These standards are monitored by international organizations and, therefore, violating rules can lead to imprisonment and punishment. In general, the existence of fixed values is not justified because societies are constantly developing, introducing new norms, perceptions, and preferences. At the same time, acceptance of diversities in belief systems is also important because it expands individuals’ perception about moral and immoral actions.