Priorytety wartości podstawowych w świadomości polskich maturzystów

Janusz Mariański


Empirical preferences in valuing determine the hierarchy or, perhaps, different, independent from one another, hierarchies of values. They show both the contents of an individual system of values (what values make it up and in what set-up they are) and valuing orientations which occur and dominate in particular social milieus. In each society, which is intent on building a personalistic and humanistic order, it is necessary to care about the basic values, especially in the societies of a fledgling democracy; but it is also necessary to understand them properly and put into practice. This collective self-awareness is being molded by both the present time and the past; it is constant and at the same time variable, static and dynamic.

In the present study we are going to show how some basic values function in the awareness of young Poles. We shall turn our attention to the understanding of basic values (contents), and the recognized superiority of some values over others (preferences). We assume that in extreme conditions of social changes there comes into play a clear „redefinition of values”, some values lose their importance and others grow into importance. The transformation of values, in fact a natural process, may turn into loss or fall of the basic values, may spell only plurality of attitudes towards values, and not loss of consensus in the sphere of the basic values.

To find an answer to thus presented research problem we shall seek in empirical materials gathered in 1994 among secondary school graduates. Out of 1592 subjects selected in Gdańsk, Tarnów, Puławy, Kraśnik, Dęblin and Szprotawa 1468 secondary school graduates were surveyed, which was 92.2 per cent of the research group. The graduates were tested with, among other things, alternative propositions test, a test which contains several pairs of statements. They were asked to select those which were closer to what they thought (binary choices).

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