Social values ​​are a set of attributes and principles that are related to personal relationships and how they generate a specific coexistence. Society, as such, is influenced by values – or norms – that dictate how each individual should behave.

Any type of value refers to aspects that are important in order to maintain order in a social system . In this way, each individual plays a role that is tailored to the circumstances. These are guidelines that establish not only behavior, but also how decisions should be made.

What are social values?  

Social values ​​are codes of behavior , they are directly related to certain customs and laws already established. They help each member of a society to live together without conflict.

The establishment of such customs – and consequently of values ​​- depends on different aspects. Some that we can refer to are: religion, politics and also those ideals that are important to a certain group of people.

At the global level there is a society (civilization), which in turn is made up of other social groups (cultures). Each of these groups with certain characteristics, which make their individuals have similarities, but also differences. 

The importance of social values

Therefore, the importance of all social values ​​is mainly their ability to guide the actions of each person. These are expressions of ideals that have been accepted by a community by consensus.

Social values ​​are closely related to other types of values. For example, with universal, ethical, moral, emotional, religious and family values. 

It should not be forgotten that values ​​- in general – constitute an equivalent to a morality. Therefore, they give people the necessary tools to be able to evaluate their actions and decisions, according to what these rules dictate.

Generic value considerations

They may well be defined as a series of requirements or guidelines. These are synonymous with good manners, or even a more civilized behavior in the eyes of society.

Therefore, the values ​​generate a feeling of control , mediation, and of entering into a peaceful relationship; and at the same time affectionate with other members.

Other types of values ​​focus their attention on concepts such as: truth, happiness, beauty, and love. 

In addition, it happens that values ​​help people not forget to take into account the ideas and feelings of their social environment . Do not forget that values ​​are collective!

Relationship between society and values

Social values ​​focus their attention on guiding people to maintain behavior that conforms to the ideals of a group of people.

Societies, as they are known today, have defined their values reflecting collective mentalities , customs, religions, laws and other cultural aspects.

Values ​​can be defined as a series of concepts that define certain criteria. By putting them into practice, each individual maintains a relationship of belonging and individuality. that corresponds to the ideals of the community. It is a certain way of conception of humanity.

Characteristics of social values

Social values ​​are characterized by deciphering collective mentalities. This expresses which are the human activities that are most relevant, in this way it is understood what are the motivations, choices and behaviors used to face each situation and its consequences.

These mentalities or collective ideals are characterized by having rationality and emotionality . In the first aspect we identify intellectual, historical and cultural characteristics, and even philosophical ones.

Studying each of these conceptions allows us to explore what is the collective consciousness of a certain social group. On the other hand, emotionality is related to the way of acting and reacting, in addition to understanding how affective relationships are between people. The following are the most relevant characteristics of social values:

  • Social values ​​are the result of a gradual evolution. Throughout the years, past generations form the basis of the norms that are followed in society and these have an impact on the present.
  • They also have an unconscious component, as they are beyond individual control.
  • They are also imaginary because they represent a part of the personal inner world, some of these mentalities share similarities with other members of the same group.
  • These norms allow establishing a position of self-sufficiency. Therefore, individuals who adhere to them try to avoid having confrontations with other people.
  • It is about motivating each individual to be more responsible with their actions and behaviors with their peers.
  • They enact the development of a conscience, in which it is taken into consideration that each action and choice can negatively or positively affect others.
  • They also serve to educate new generations to be productive and honest citizens.

What are the different types of social values?

The values ​​that are considered positive can be classified in different ways, therefore, they can be part of both classifications in the same way.

It is important to know that social values share similarities with affective , family, ethical and moral values . This is because guidelines are established, which are equally valid in different cases.

Dominant values

They are the guidelines that are most relevant to most people within a society. They support a particular idea, feeling, or social movement .

Traditional values 

They are the ones who have always been present in society despite the passage of time. Although at present some of them have lost their validity, according to different criteria, they are still important; because they have helped to create the foundations of the society itself.

Emerging values 

They are those that are in development . They are a novelty from different points of view, they still have to pass certain tests so that most people can accept them equally.

They can be the result of the combination of traditional or dominant values. Perhaps the failure of any of them to adapt to current needs has resulted in the creation of a new value type.

These values ​​can replace the previous ones and in some cases have a certain complexity at the conceptual level.

Oppositional values

As the name implies, these are rules that establish opposition to other rules. Likewise, these norms suppose to establish a conflictive or contrary relationship , with respect to the ideals that most people follow in a society.

Alternative values 

These are the ones that are classified outside the scope of the recognized values. That is to say, they are the exception because they are opposed to what is established by other norms, they are developed independently and propose new types of values.

They are not necessarily opposed to already recognized values. It could be said that they complement the proposed actions , and seek the support of a part of society; that is considered to be insignificant or not to have sufficient influence.

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Alexa Clark specializes in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. She has experience in listening and welcoming in Individual Therapy and Couples Therapy. It meets demands such as generalized anxiety, professional, love and family conflicts, stress, depression, sexual dysfunction, grief, and adolescents from 15 years of age. Over the years, She felt the need to conduct the psychotherapy sessions with subtlety since She understands that the psychologist acts as a facilitator of self-understanding and self-acceptance, valuing each person's respect, uniqueness, and acceptance.

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