Loredana Sciolla

The strength of values

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: values, identity, coherence, recognition, reference group.

Whereas values occupied a central place in sociological tradition, the concept has largely been abandoned in social scientific discourse. In the past few years, however, sociologists have rediscovered values and social norms. After an analysis of some "sceptical" theories of values, the article focuses on the problem of how values shape behavior. It critically examines rational and normative frameworks of the ways values affect individual behavior. Finally, some suggestions are made to explain the relation between values and behavior by considering an identity theoretical perspective. Values are related to behavior insofar as these values strengthen the coerence of identity through the recognition of a reference group.

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