in the Special Discussion (Week 4), please post your essay and then review the essays posted by your classmates. In the discussion, compare your values with at least 2 of your classmates, commenting on the reasoning and social factors why your values might you differ from others in the class.
1.American Values Assessment: A Content Analysis America is a unique Country founded on the principal that we are endowed with a certain unalienable Rights that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit if Happiness.
Penn says that in his hope this July 4th, is that Americans on reviving our sport values - values that have made us great and can rekindle our optimism for the future as they have done many times before. From Jesse Owens’s victories in the 1936 Berlin Olympics to the “Miracle on Ice” in Lake Placid in 1980, great athletic events have crystalized our faith in the country. These days, sports are marred by scandals that go far beyond cheating, and it seems that every feel-good sports moment has its nefarious counterpart. Sports have always represented American values of fair competition, community, hard work, and the American Dream. But Americans believe our values are in decline, and while this is most clearly attributed to a lack of faith in political and economic institutions, perhaps our athletic institutions best demonstrate why we as a nation have become pessimistic about our values. Values are the principles or standards of behavior that are formed by life experiences and codes of conduct, implicitly and explicitly, from our family, culture (s), organization(s), institution(s), religion(s), nation(s), etc.. Generally, we have two forms of values, personal and core.
Personal values are lessons learned from life’s trials and tribulation. Core values are embedded during our initial upbringing and create the way a person orients to the world, or, if you prefer, the filter from which you not only make meaning but from which you decide how you will act and react to life’s daily challenges. Core values emanate from the center of who we are and what is most important to us as a human being. And, core values are often not spoken or acted upon creating a nagging within us about something we should not have allowed to happen or an injustice that we participated.
When our core values are clear to us, we have a greater sense of self and how we orient to the world. When we have not clearly identified these core values, we often have powerful and surprising responses to situations that directly or even indirectly conflict with these values. Values have been defined as a set of deeply-held, socially-shared 2 beliefs that serve as standards which guide us to the positions that we take on various social, ideological, political and religious issues.3 We employ these values to decide about what is and is not worth arguing; persuading and influencing what others believe in and do; and, as standards to guide processes of conscious and unconscious justification of action, thought and judgement.4 Thus, the ultimate function of human values is to provide us with a set of standards to guide us in all our efforts to satisfy our needs and at the same time maintain and enhance self-esteem.
Values arise from one’s Worldview; whether God or man centered. Just as water is comprised of one oxygen and two hydrogen atoms, these beliefs determine our end actions; how we behave. So values are the ideas and beliefs that influence our choices and actions; regardless of they are right or wrong, good and bad. America is one of the few countries in the world where it sees reasonable to speak about the dignity of human labor, the respect of each other, the honesty and the political meaning by that, hard, physical labor. In America, even corporation engage in physical labor from time to time and gain, rather than lose, respect from others for such action. The different behaviors of a people or a culture make sense only when seen through the basic beliefs, assumptions and values of that particular group. When you encounter an action, or hear a statement in the United States that surprises you, try to see it as an expression of one or more of the values listed here. For example, when you ask Americans for directions to get to a particular address in their own city, they may explain, in great detail, how you can get there on your own, but may never even consider walking two city blocks with you to lead you to the place. Some foreign visitors have interpreted this sort of action as showing Americans’ "unfriendliness." We would suggest, instead, that the self-help concept (value number 6 on our list), is so strong in Americans that they firmly believe that no adult would ever want, even temporarily, to be dependent on another. Also, their future orientation (value 8) makes Americans think it is better to prepare you to find other addresses on your own in the future. To assess change in value priorities over time, American Republican and Democratic party platforms from 1844 through 1964 were content analyzed, using procedures described by Stone, Dunply, Smith, and Ogilvie (1966). The use of content analysis is predicated by two assumptions (1) the differential occurrence of a content category is an indication of the differential concern with the value classified by that category, and (2) the relative value concern which is thus measured is an appropriate measure of the relative priority of that value in the total value.
Additionally, I can conclude that the value of a country is its richness in many ways so the content analysis of US Americans provides an empirical basis for monitoring shifts in public opinion. Data collected from the mission statements project in the late 1990s can be objectively compared to data collected at some point in the future to determine if policy changes related to standards-based reform have manifested themselves in school mission statements.
Do Americans Still Value Freedom? | Cato Institute. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/do-americans-still-value-freedom Leader Values. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.leader-values.com/article.php?aid=576 Core Values: An Assessment. (n.d.). Retrieved fromhttp://www.herbstevenson.com/articles/core-values-assessment.php
What Are American Values These Days? | TIME.com. (n.d.). Retrieved from
2. “Americans say they are more tolerant and open-minded than their parents. Among the issues that rate more morally acceptable today than a decade ago: homosexuality, human cloning, pre-marital sex, and having a child out of wedlock” (Cohn, 2012). Each society, each generation and each person has their own views of what important values are. These values can be passed down from ancestors, adopted from friends, your own or a mixture of them all. However your beliefs, morals and values have a lot to do with your culture and different cultures are what America is made of and depict what American values are.
Among Americans, the most common values would include aspects of personal values, such as responsibility, honesty, respect, friendship and family. According to Barrett Values Centre U.S. National Values Assessment (2009), accountability has been making its way into those top values. This shift in accountability shows that the importance of personal, organizational, and national values are subject to change at any time, especially over time.
After reviewing the research on values and there role in society, I concur that my personal views compare to the information found. National values are very important for politician leaders, society and the citizens but they are not always good values. Barrett Values Centre U.S. National Values Assessment (2009) states that some of the current culture national values include corruption, blame, crime/violence, bureaucracy and wasted resources. On the other hand a more optimistic view would be the desired national values, which include employment opportunities, peace, and concern for the future, accountability and care for the elderly and disadvantaged.
In life your culture can sway your feelings of the importance of specific beliefs, rights and principles. According to Bellah et al. (2007) inHabits of the Heart, the founders of our nation viewed Republicanism, Individualism, Freedom of Religion and Entrepreneurship as our foundation. Republicanism being one of the four principles shows the power and importance of politics and our governmental system, though most people feel that our government is corrupt, secretive, and untrustworthy and doesn’t truly take care of its people. “Two-thirds of those surveyed say the country is heading in the wrong direction” (Cohn, 2012). Most people believe that strong leadership on all levels and genuine care for people as people and not as things could make a stronger government and society.
A great definition for Individualism is the feeling that one must be unique and independent. Most Americans feel this way, we even encourage our children to practice individualism in school by teaching them to compete with each other and that individual success is the best. Values that describe individualism are privacy, individual expression, need for independence and an emphasis on individual initiative. Individualism vs. collectivism has been a long lived debate about which one is the better for a thriving culture. Collectivism is more popular in eastern cultures, while individualism is prominent in western cultures. Caleb Jacobo states in his article The Essentiality of Individualism in Modern America that “America was built on the social-political ideals of Individualism; the philosophy of self-reliance, in the face of peril, and in the name freedom” (Jacobo, 2012).
Living in America, many citizens want to experience the “American dream”, being married to the love of their life, owning a house, having children but most importantly having a successful employment or a business. Entrepreneurship is critical to society because it creates new jobs, new ideas and promotes societal growth. On January 31, 2011 President Obama stated that “Entrepreneurs embody the promise of America: the idea that if you have a good idea and are willing to work hard and see it through, you can succeed in this country. And in fulfilling this promise, entrepreneurs also play a critical role in expanding our economy and creating jobs”. Entrepreneurship is so valuable because not only does it allow a person to become their own boss, create new innovations but also to leave a legacy to past down to their children.
Lastly is religion, which in America is a founding freedom. As an American citizen you are allowed to practice any religion you want or no religion at all. Religious freedom is a founding principle because it’s essential that the people of a nation can openly practice what they believe in. “The Founders understood that one of Government’s primary tasks is to preserve the freedom for each person to follow his own conscience, so they enshrined certain fundamental rights in our nation’s constitution to guarantee this freedom” (Alliance defending freedom, n.d). Religion and Culture have a close relationship, most people adopt the religion that they were raised in and others change their religion after experiencing other cultures. America is very diverse, so there is a focuses in business and institutions to take care in respecting peoples religious practices and not offending them. This can be something as simple as a hand shake, which is pretty normal in greetings but in the Muslim faith is seen differently. Many conservative Muslims believe that unrelated men and women should never touch because of this belief businesses take the time to train employees to be conscious of religious differences to combat offending workers or customers.
In conclusion, being a U.S. citizen is a great thing. All the freedoms that you possess you learn to appreciate, especially when you become educated about other countries whose people are suppressed and those freedoms are unheard of. I personally enjoy being an American and being allowed the right and freedom to live life as I please.
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