Public Support for the Right to Euthanasia: Impact of Traditional Religiosity and Autonomy Values Across 37 Nations
This article takes a postmodernization perspective on support for the right to euthanasia by treating it as an expression of a process of value change, as a preference for quality over quantity of life. Using the data from the fifth wave of the World Values Survey, this study attempts to answer the question of whether the mass support for the right to euthanasia is an expression of autonomy values rather than just a function of a low religiosity. Multilevel regressions demonstrate that both traditional religiosity and autonomy values have a high impact at the individual level, while at the country level only the effects of traditional religiosity are significant. Autonomy values have stronger association with attitudes to euthanasia in countries with higher levels of postmaterialism. Multilevel path analysis demonstrates that the effect of religiosity is partially and weakly mediated by the values of autonomy at both levels. Although religiosity was found to have a much stronger impact, the independent effect of autonomy values suggests that mass support for the right to euthanasia is a value-driven preference for quality over quantity of life. We conclude by suggesting that the fall in traditional religiosity might emphasize the role of values in moral attitudes regulation.
We focus on one of these aspects of value theory that has remained relatively underexposed, namely the relation between individual social location and human values. Does one’s position in the social structure—indicated by socio-demographic variables such as age, gender, education and income—affect the values that one prioritizes? We pay special attention to the cross-cultural robustness of the relation between social location and values: Can similar patterns be detected in various European countries? Or do cross-national differences in the relation between structure and values depend on elements of the national context?
We depart from Schwartz’ (1992, 1994, 2006) theory of human values, and make use of the value scale included in the European Social Survey (ESS). We believe that this study adds up to existing research in various ways. First, an exceptionally wide range of European countries is taken into account, including various Eastern European countries. Second, we take up the issue of the cross-cultural equivalence of the measurements. Prior to substantive analysis, we test to what extent different cultural interpretations of values affect the validity of cross-national comparisons. Third, to the best of our knowledge, this is the first study that explicitly addresses the question whether national context affects the relation between social location and values.
This study used basic personal values to elucidate the motivational meanings of “left” and “right” political orientations in 20 representative national samples from the European Social Survey (2002–2003). It also compared the importance of personal values and sociodemographic variables as determinants of political orientation. Hypotheses drew on the different histories, prevailing culture, and socioeconomic level of three sets of countries—liberal, traditional, and postcommunist. As hypothesized, universalism and benevolence values explained a left orientation in both liberal and traditional countries and conformity and tradition values explained a right orientation; values had little explanatory power in postcommunist countries. Values predicted political orientation more strongly than sociodemographic variables in liberal countries, more weakly in postcommunist countries, and about equally in traditional countries.
Two studies investigated reciprocal effects of values and voting. Study 1 measured adults’ basic values and core political values both before (n=1379) and following (n=1030) the 2006 Italian national election. Both types of values predicted voting. Voting choice influenced subsequent core political values but not basic values. The political values of free enterprise, civil liberties, equality, law and order, military intervention, and accepting immigrants changed to become more compatible with the ideology of the chosen coalition. Study 2 measured core political values before (n=697) and following (n=506) the 2008 Italian national election. It largely replicated the reciprocal effects of voting and political values of Study 1. In addition, it demonstrated that left-right ideology mediated the reciprocal effects of voting and political values. Moreover, voter certainty moderated these effects. Political values predicted vote choice more weakly among undecided than decided voters, but voting choice led to more value change among undecided voters.
Several approaches to the concept of fatherhood present in Western sociological tradition are analyzed and compared: biological determinism, social constructivism and biosocial theory. The problematics of fatherhood and men’s parental practices is marginalized in modern Russian social research devoted to family and this fact makes the traditional inequality in family relations, when the father’s role is considered secondary compared to that of mother, even stronger. However, in Western critical men’s studies several stages can be outlined: the development of “sex roles” paradigm (biological determinism), the emergence of the hegemonic masculinity concept, inter-disciplinary stage (biosocial theory). According to the approach of biological determinism, the role of a father is that of the patriarch, he continues the family line and serves as a model for his ascendants. Social constructivism looks into man’s functions in the family from the point of view of masculine pressure and establishing hegemony over a woman and children. Biosocial theory aims to unite the biological determinacy of fatherhood with social, cultural and personal context. It is shown that these approaches are directly connected with the level of the society development, marriage and family perceptions, the level of egality of gender order.
This article is talking about state management and cultural policy, their nature and content in term of the new tendency - development of postindustrial society. It mentioned here, that at the moment cultural policy is the base of regional political activity and that regions can get strong competitive advantage if they are able to implement cultural policy successfully. All these trends can produce elements of new economic development.