Changing Values

Lesson 12 : Indian Traditional And Contemporary Value

Changing Values

Values are not stable. Even though they are different to change in a stroke, they do change with the changing social and personal living environments and the changing time. But some values which the person feels very important and holds to self will not change.

  • The speed of change has much influence on resistance to change in va ues and acceptance of newer values. Gradual change is normal, ex¬∑ pected, accepted, and even welcomed in line with progress.
  • Rapid change however may cause unrest and feelings of uncertainty in society, and even disruption.
  • Values once established are unconsciously changed in the same ways, they were established. Conscious change may be induced by alerting a person to a state of inconsistency in his own value system, which is normally organized for self-esteem and for logic.
  • Values of newer importance stem from science and technology.
  • In a technological world, it is very difficult for the home not to be cluttered with mechanical devices resulting in decrease of emphasis on the nonmaterial aspects of living. Some specific changes in values in the home can easily be traced to technology.
  • Privacy, which came into the home with changes in house architecture and central heating, is now invaded through technology, which brings the world into the home via the telephone
  • The personal and social values of today's youth have a bearing on motivation in future homes
  • Keniston grouped the values of youth into trends, or those favored, and targets, or those to be fought against. Among the trends he placed quality (as against quantity), openness, and human development. Among the targets were quantity, materialism, and standardization.

Some of the values which have lost their higher importance over time are the following.

  • The Concept of Duty: Less value is placed on what one owes to others as a matter of moral obligation.
  • Social Conformity: Less value is placed on symbols of correct behaviour for a person G) of a particular social class.
  • Sacrifice: Less value is placed on sacrifice as a moral good, replaced by more pragmatic criteria of when sacrifice is or is not called for.
  • Expressiveness: A higher value is placed on forms of choice and individualism that express one's unique inner nature.
  • The Environment: Greater value is placed on respecting and preserving nature and the natural.
  • Technology: Greater value is placed on technological solutions to a vast array of problems and challenges.
  • Family: A high value is placed on family life, but with a vastly expanded concept of family beyond the traditional joint form.
  • Husband-wife Relationships: A far-reaching shift from role-based obligations to shared responsibilities is visible.
  • Health: Greater value is placed on one's own responsibility for maintaining and enhancing personal as well as family health.
  • Women's Rights: A higher value is placed on women achieving self-fulfillment by paths of their own choice rather than through role dictated by society.

The unchanged values are the following:

  • Freedom: Valuing political liberty, free speech, freedom of movement, freedom of religious worship, and other freedoms from consti'aints to the pursuit of private happiness.
  • Equality before the Law: Placing a high value on having the same rules of justice apply to one and all, rich and poor, black and white.
  • Equality of Opportunity: The practical expression of freedom and individualism in the marketplace, which helps to resolve the tensions between the values of freedom and equality.
  • Fairness: Placing a high value on people getting what they deserve as the consequence of their own individual actions and efforts.
  • Achievement: A belief in efficacy of individual effort: the view that education and hard work payoff.
  • Patriotism: Loyalty to one's country and dedication to the way of life it represents.
  • Democracy: A belief that the judgement of the majority should form the basis of governance.
  • Caring Beyond the Self: Placing a high value on a concern for others such as family or ethnic group; neighborliness; caring for the community.
  • Religion: A reverence for some transcendental meaning extending beyond the realm of the secular and practical.
  • Luck: A belief that one's fortunes and circumstances are not permanent and that good fortune can happen to anyone at any time.

Success: In 1970s success for women was seen as getting married, raising children, and owning a house and an automobile and backing the men on their way up the social ladder. In 1980s, get a good education and work hard were two answers, which dominated all others. In 1990s decent and better standard of living, good health, adequate opportunities for one's children, happy marriage and family life and owning one's own home mattered to the people. However, in 2000s the concept of success is self-defined i.e. defined differently by every individual. Thus not only values but also their meaning also change with changing times as seen in the example mentioned above.

Last modified: Saturday, 24 March 2012, 8:15 AM