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Meaning, Definition and functions of Social Values for JKSSB Supervisor Exam.
Meaning of Social Values:
‘Social Values’ form an important part of the culture of a society. Social values, norms and institutions explain the way in which social processes operate in a given society. They are the social sources of patterned interaction. Values account for the stability of the social order. They provide the , general guidelines for conduct. In doing so, they facilitate social control. Values are the criteria people use in assessing their daily lives, arranging their priorities, measuring their pleasures and pains, choosing between alternative courses of action.
Definition of Social Value
- “Values are group conceptions of the relative desirability of things” G.R. Leslie, RF. Larson, H L German.
- According to H. M. Johnson “Values are general standards and may be regarded as higher order norms”.
- “Values are assumptions, largely unconscious, of what is right and important”-Young and Mack.
- “A value is a belief that something is good and worthwhile. It defines what is worth having and worth striving for.”-Michael Haralambos.
- “Values are general conceptions of “the good”, ideas about the kind of ends that people should pursue throughout their lives and throughout the many different activities in which they engage”. – Peter Worsley.
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FUNCTIONS OF VALUES
- As it is already made clear, values provide goals or ends for the members to aim for.
- Values provide for stabilities and uniformities in group interaction. They hold the society together because they are shared in common. Some sociologists argue that shared values form the basis for social unity or social solidarity. Since they share the same values with others, the members of a society are likely to see others as “people like themselves”. They will, therefore, have a sense of belonging to a social group. They will feel a part of the wider society.
- Values bring legitimacy to the rules that govern specific activities. The rules are accepted as rules and followed mainly because they embody the values that most people accept. The Americans for example, believe that the capitalist organization is the best one because it allows people to seek success in life.
- Values help to bring about some kind of adjustment between different sets of rules. The people seek the same kinds of ends or goals in different fields of their life. Hence it is possible for them to modify the rules to help the pursuit of this end. For example, if the Indian people cherish the value of “the principle of equality”, then they will have to modify the rules governing the interpersonal relationship of husband and wife; and man and woman. As and when new activities emerge, people create rules in the light of their beliefs about what is ‘good’ and ‘right’.
Conclusion: In simple words, values may be defined as measure of goodness or desirability.
Thus, it is clear from the above definitions that values represent wide range of ideas about the ends that men should pursue in their life. The values of a society provide goals or ends for its members to aim for. These goals or ends are to be pursued in different contexts and situations. If the Dominant value is “success then, it expects all the individuals to become successful at school, at sports and in life, in general. Values provide the general guidelines for the behavior of the people”. Thus, values such as respect for human dignity, fundamental rights, private property, patriotism fidelity to wife or to the husband, religiosity, sacrifice, helpfulness, co-operation, free marital selection, individuality, social equality, privacy, democracy, etc., guide our behavior in various ways.