Niektóre przemiany systemu wartości społeczeństwa zachodnioniemieckiego

Janusz Mariański


The paper has been written on the basis of the results of empirical researches, done in Germany, on the system of values, aims and new orientations in the life of German society. The author has taken advantage of those researches which have been done on the representative, all-nation samples or purposefully selected social categories which categories embrace the people who belong to various classes and strata of society. That is why the following analyses aim et grasping some dominant changes in the system of values and at making an attempt of generalisation at the level of global society. Principally, the present work deals with a few selected questions, e.g., changes of material and postmaterial values, some social values which belong to the middle-class ethos, and, finally, the relation between social and religious values.

On the one hand, we face catastrophic and fateful theses put forward by sociologists who predict a complete disintegration of the traditional systems of values. On the other hand, one points ot that which is essential in values and which remains unchanged, and the actual system of values both among the young and adult generations is a special combination of continuity and change. Many authors who concentrate on the basic values, perceive more examples of continuity that those of change. There is, however, being created a new ethos which embraces a considerable part of society within the framework of the progressive uniformity of culture. That ethos is internally differentiated, hence it is difficult to give it an adequate name, and it contains some substantial values as structural axes, and instrumental values which undergo visible changes. There are some conditions which are optimistic.

It is society that has a chance to shape its life in the future by way of values which it accepts.

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