Understanding the justifiability scale in international surveys: an exploratory study
The justifiability scale (JS) is widely used to measure individual and country differences in moral attitudes. However, the validity of the instrument has been barely assessed. The current study addressed the concurrent and content validity of four popular JS items (justifiability of homosexuality, suicide, prostitution, and euthanasia). A sample of 493 Russians completed both JS and the four validated multi-item scales. Results demonstrated that multi-item scales measuring suicide, prostitution, and euthanasia attitudes explained less than half of the variance of the corresponding JS items. The JS underestimated the justifiability of homosexuality, prostitution and suicide, and overestimated the justifiability of euthanasia. The JS homosexuality item appeared to be a precise measure of attitudes towards male but less so female homosexuality. The concurrent validity of the four items was associated with item non-differentiation. We conclude that JS items should be used either after accounting for their bias, or as indicators of more abstract latent constructs.
Using World Values Survey data from several dozen countries around the world, this article analyzes the relationship between postmaterialist values and bribery (dis)approval in a multilevel framework. We find that people, who place stronger emphasis on postmaterialist values, tend to justify bribery more. However, the “ecological” effect of postmaterialism operates in the exactly opposite direction: A higher prevalence of postmaterialist values induces more bribery disapproval, and especially among postmaterialists themselves. In our view, this happens because the large number of people who internalized postmaterialist values generate positive social externalities which strengthen negative attitudes toward corruption. We outline a theoretical framework that explains why and how these externalities may emerge. Our results contribute to the literature on the sociocultural factors of corruption, provide a better understanding of the complex nature of postmaterialism, and also might be interesting in the light of ongoing discussions on whether moral attitudes are culturally universal or culturally specific.
The research is focused on the nature of civic engagement across European countries and its prediction, based on European Values Study data (2008). A model of civic engagement which includes scalesof civic concern, civic confidence, non-violent elite-changing actions and organizational activities, which has been tested both on cross-country level and in pooled data, implies two factors, corresponding to “cognition” and “activity” parts of civic engagement. An attempt is made to envisage and conceptualize the predictors of civic engagement in different parts of Europe with the help of classical OLS regression and multilevel regression modelling, in such a way testing research hypotheses. It is shown that differences in civic engagement may be conceptualized within the framework of Laurent Thevenot’s three regimes of engagement.
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.
This study aims to analyze the gender attitudes of Muslim migrants in Western Europe compared to people in their sending societies and the European receiving societies. I employ the European Social Survey, the European Values Study, and the World Values Survey as data sources. Using cross-classified multilevel analysis, I compare individuals with respect to their country of origin and receiving society characteristics simultaneously. The results show that migrants are closer in their attitude to employment rights to local Europeans than to the public in their sending societies. People who left their predominantly Islamic countries of origin are much less prone to gender discrimination than those who stayed. This paper argues that the majority of Muslim migrants do not adhere to the values and attitudes of their countries of origin, but fall closer to the attitudes of the receiving societies as reflected in their perception of gender roles, particularly within the labor market.
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.