A culture’s values are defined as the points or ideas that define or help demonstrate what is good, right or just. It includes the acceptable/unacceptable, workable/unworkable aspects of things in the society. According to the conflict theory, light is shed on how these values differ from group to group within the respective culture. However, shared values aren’t really focused upon as functionalism has elaborated the shared concept in more detail and specifics. Hence these values have more of an independent nature.
They are more like the beliefs of a person or social group with which they are emotionally concerned with. For example, the most important values in one society can be wealth, success, power, accomplishment, material success or prestige. However not every individual has access to these values.
Hence, they vary from group to group. These cultural values don’t seem too obvious, but they have a deep influence or background behind them! Cultural values can be put together by observing the various customs or traditions that the people have passed down throughout history. These values altogether shape the structure of the culture.
Justification and comparison
We can compare the American society with the Japanese/Asian society. We deduce that in an American society, there is emphasize on the concepts of individuality, equality, hard work, safety, and freedom. Whereas in the Asian society, there is stress on behaving according to respective status, self-improvement and self-criticism.
These values are displayed in the forms of advertisement or print media constructs as well. A designer has related cultural values with the design concept. He stated:“These values of our society frame messages that in turn sell products, services, and ideas that reinterpret the dominant trends to put a positive spin on what we do”.
Ford cars use cultural values to enhance the perceived quality of their cars. There are so many more examples that have done the same. A poster of a Mustang car model has “It kicks and screams just like the day it was born” imprinted on it.