Universal in the content and structure of values: theoretical advances and empirical tests in 20 countries
This article discusses work that is part of a larger project intended to explore the importance of values in a wide variety of contexts. The project addresses three broad questions about values. First, how are the value priorities of individuals affected by their social experiences? That is, how do the common experiences people have, because of their shared locations in the social structure, influence their value priorities? And, how do individuals’ unique experiences affect their value priorities? Second, how do the value priorities held by individuals affect their behavioral orientations and choices? That is, how do value priorities influence ideologies, attitudes, and actions in the political, religious, environmental, and other domains?
The purpose of the given study is to reveal the differences in values, in economic attitudes and in the structures of their interrelations between Christians and Muslims of Russia. To identify models of economic behavior we have developed a special methodology of economic behavior scenarios which allows identifying economic attitudes. Schwartz Value Survey was used for the individual level values exposure. The sample included representatives from Christian (Armenians, Georgians, Ossetians) (N = 60) and Muslim (Chechens, Dagestanians, Kabardinians) (N = 65) nations, living in the North Caucasian region in Russia. Student’s t-test was used to reveal the differences between groups. Cross-confessional comparison showed the significant differences in values on the individual level between Christians and Muslims. Also significant differences in economic attitudes were found. The structures of interrelations between values and economic attitudes are different in these two groups: some scenarios of economic behavior are predicted by values only among Muslims, some others – only among Christians. Different values have a predictive power for explanation of economic attitudes in these two groups.
Along with the fast growing economy, the term «BRICs» was coined to represent the newly emerging countries — Brazil, Russia, India and China. The enhanced economy in these countries has largely improved peoples life; at the same time, it has also strongly influenced the transformation of social structure, norms and values. However, as the worlds attention centers on their economic development at the micro level, the social changes at the micro level have often been neglected, and a specific comparative study of these four countries is even more rare. This handbooks contributing authors are leading sociologists in the four countries. They fill the gap in existing literature and examine specifically the changes in each society from the perspective of social stratification, with topics covering the main social classes, the inequality of education and income, and the different styles of consumption as well as the class consciousness and values. Under every topic, it gathers articles from authors of each country. Such a comparative study could not only help us achieve a better understanding of the economic growth and social development in these countries, but also lead us to unveil the mystery of how these emerging powers with dramatic differences in history, geography, culture, language, religion and politics could share a common will and take joint action. In general, the handbook takes a unique perspective to show readers that it is the profound social structural changes in these countries that determine their future, and to a large extent, will shape the socio-economic landscape of the future world.
Modern capitalism favors values that undermine our face-to-face bonds with friends and family members. Focusing on the post-communist world, and comparing it to more 'developed' societies, this book reveals the mixed effects of capitalist culture on interpersonal relationships. While most observers blame the egoism and asocial behavior found in new free-market societies on their communist pasts, this work shows how relationships are also threatened by the profit orientations and personal ambition unleashed by economic development. Successful people in societies as diverse as China, Russia, and Eastern Germany adjust to the market economy at a social cost, relaxing their morals in order to obtain success and succumbing to increased material temptations to exploit relationships for their own financial and professional gain. The capitalist personality is internally troubled as a result of this "sellout," but these qualms subside as it devalues intimate qualitative bonds with others. This book also shows that post-communists are similarly individualized as people living in Western societies. Capitalism may indeed favor values of independence, creativity, and self-expressiveness, but it also rewards self-centeredness, consumerism, and the stripping down of morality. As is the case in the West, capitalist culture fosters an internally conflicted and self-centered personality in post-communist societies.
The results of the interrogative psycholinguistic experiment described in this article is part of a broader research of how soci-ocultural knowledge influences communication in the Internet discussions by readers of American press. The experiment allows obtaining a complex model of positively/negatively evaluated events in the American society, paying special attention to the value-evaluation component. This model can further be a basis for explanation of the communicative strategies of argumentation and manipulation used in verbal description of events. The type of sociocultural mental structures described in the article is viewed as a dynamic cognitive gestalt that can be potentially split into a number of parameters, but is not reducible to their sum, which is characterized by both individual existence in the mind of a native speaker and distributed existence in a sociocultural community as an abstract social invariant. The article discusses advantages of psycholinguistic approach to modeling the fragments of this background knowledge compared to using exclusively introspective text analysis, as it allows to separate methodologically the research of mental structures and particular instances of verbal communication that are based on those structures and gives an opportunity to avoid the vicious circle of studying communicative strategies used in the text exclusively modeled from the same text material.
Analysis of the topic of the disease in the literary canon and visual representations in textbooks for primary school.
A joint research project carried out by an interdisciplinary group of Russian and Swedish linguists, sociologists and educators-psychologists (the Swedish Institute grant), besides solving pragmatic tasks of finding out relative quantitative-qualitative specificity of national cognitive representations of values, first of all, had methodological goals. They were to check the efficiency of the linguistic methods developed in this study (and, thus, to prove the theoretical ideas that served the basis for it) of getting factual data that allow reconstructing and comparing of the corresponding areas of cognitive representations.
Considering specifi city of modernization processes in Russia, caused both by internal problems and Russias place in global economy, the author brings an attention to the question of features of standard-values system of Russian reformers. Results of the analysis of 12 values-blocks forming a basis of the variety of the standard-valuable systems of Russians are given.