Social values are principles and norms that guide the way people from the same social group will live. Social values serve to make community life possible.
It is through social values that individuals create a sense of social cohesion and a sense of belonging. These values make the link between individual interests and the interests of society as a whole.
Individual interests do not always correspond to the interests of society. Social values fulfill the function of educating individuals to value the group in terms of their own interests.
On the other hand, the common good, the good of society, promotes security so that individuals can live freely.
These values are neither fixed nor definitive, they are historically and culturally constructed. That is, they vary in time and from place to place, they can change, be replaced or gain greater or lesser relevance.
Social values guide the education of individuals and their socialization. From birth, individuals learn how to behave, speak, act and even think. In this way, what is transmitted is a set of values that that social group understands as being important for its maintenance.
Examples of social values
Work is society’s answer to its needs. It is through the social division of labor that individuals, performing different functions, enable the group to develop collectively. Each function fulfills its role and is essential for the group.
Thus, work has an individual relevance, for example, receiving a salary, but it is also important for society. The work of a doctor and a garbage man, for example, is directly linked to the health of the population.
Respect for laws
Respecting the laws allows for a better life in society. Laws exist as a way of restricting people’s action for the common good.
The person who respects the law shows that he is committed to society. For her, the collective good, reflected in the law, is more important than her personal interest.
Thus, when being socialized, the person learns that they must respect the rules, for the good of coexistence and the community.
Respect for individuals
As well as respect for laws, respect for individuals is a social value that conveys the idea that, in order to live well in society, it is necessary to respect others. Even if you have to give up some individual interest.
The golden rule ( don’t do to others what you wouldn’t want done to you ) is the demonstration that one should consider actions for a good coexistence in society.
Otherwise, if each one did what he wanted, without respect for others, life in society could be made difficult or impossible.
Cooperation is a social value based on the idea of a mutual relationship. To cooperate is to operate or work collectively, it is a group action.
Knowing how to work and act in a group can be a difficult task, given the views and interests that can be conflicting and can go against personal interests.
Cooperation requires that individuals share a collective goal and find ways to achieve it together.
The social value of solidarity is based on the idea that there are asymmetries and inequalities in a society and that this puts individuals in different positions.
Solidarity is based on the idea that the person who is in a more favorable position can help the other and this benefits society.
The creation of an environment of solidarity tends to be favorable to the social group as well as the individuals.