Public opinion theory and research are becoming increasingly significant in modern societies as people’s attitudes and behaviors become ever more volatile and opinion poll data becomes ever more readily available. This major new Handbook is the first to bring together into one volume the whole field of public opinion theory, research methodology, and the political and social embeddedness of polls in modern societies. It comprehensively maps out the state-of-the-art in contemporary scholarship on these topics.
Chapter 38: Identifying Value Clusters in Societies
Identifying Value Clusters in Societies
Values are generalized, relatively enduring and consistent priorities for how we want to live. Values belong in the ‘vocabulary of motives’ (Mills, 1940), not in the realm of instincts and biological needs. Values reveal mankind's aspirations. Needs reveal any creature's wants. Both values and needs answer the question of why we act as we do. Lifestyles are bundles of practices centered on some need and/or value. Lifestyles answer the question of what we persistently enjoy doing. One and the same value can be expressed by different lifestyles and in different opinions.
Social scientists are primarily interested in values that are shared by many, that is, collective values. There is reason, however, to study also idiosyncratic values, as ...