3.1 Why Studies of Values?


The authors of one of the first academic textbooks of Intercultural Communication, J. Condon and T. Yousef (1975), in saying "something about values," state,

"The student of values seeks underlying principles as categories both for distinguishing cultures and for finding commonplaces among cultures" (1975:48).

And they continue: "Values have to do with what is judged good or bad, right or wrong. Statements based on values describe the ideal, the standards by which behaviour is evaluated; they do not necessarily describe the actual behaviour" (1975:51).

Values influence, however, behaviour. We evaluate others' behaviour according to our own cultural values. Values, and different value systems, manifest themselves in various ways in everyday life and communication. Also, some of the most recent international and intercultural conflicts have been motivated by value differences.

© Liisa Salo-Lee, 2006


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