Core Social Values in Contemporary Societies

Diogenes 56 (1):53-73 (2009)

This essay intends to build an analytical tool for understanding social values. It proceeds by defining the term ‘social value’, differentiating ‘core’ and ‘non-core’ social values and discussing their respective functions in society. Then, it extracts from social values a seven-tier system of core social values, built on seven basic social relationships: self–other, man–nature, individual–community, community–society, people–government, people–(state) nation, and (state) nation–world system. The corresponding views of right and wrong on these types of relationships are ‘core values’ and concern perceptions of morality, nature, groups, society, politics, nation, and the world. The very core of the construct is the universal morality of human beings, and the outermost tier is the perception of world affairs. In a further section, the functional connection between the tiers is explored, to show how a core value system collapses. Lastly, the author presents a rudimentary idea of how a core social value system might be built or rebuilt
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DOI 10.1177/0392192109102155
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