An exploratory study of societal values in social participation across nations

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Participation in philanthropic activities is often perceived as a quality of “good society”. However, the existing literature lags in recognizing those types of societal values that explain collective engagement in such events. Hence, this cross-national research attempts to examine empirically the societal values associated with the prevalence of membership in humanitarian and charitable organizations across nations. Drawing on the World Values Survey data across two-time periods, seven values are identified for study: fairness, freedom, happiness, religiosity, responsibility, tolerance, and trust. After controlling for demographic and institutional factors, the results indicate that all values, except for responsibility and tolerance, are positively related with either active, inactive, or total membership. Interestingly, a sense of responsibility and tolerance show strong negative relationships with social engagement, which provide another avenue for further discussion. In general, the findings of this study suggest that membership in social organizations is more prevalent in nations with greater societal resources.

Original languageEnglish
JournalSocial Science Journal
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019

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Social Participation
social participation
Organizations
Happiness
tolerance
Values
Demography
sense of responsibility
responsibility
Research
institutional factors
demographic factors
happiness
fairness
participation
event
resources
Surveys and Questionnaires

Keywords

  • Institutional theory
  • Membership in social organizations
  • Prosocial behavior
  • Societal values
  • World Values Survey

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science

Cite this

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abstract = "Participation in philanthropic activities is often perceived as a quality of “good society”. However, the existing literature lags in recognizing those types of societal values that explain collective engagement in such events. Hence, this cross-national research attempts to examine empirically the societal values associated with the prevalence of membership in humanitarian and charitable organizations across nations. Drawing on the World Values Survey data across two-time periods, seven values are identified for study: fairness, freedom, happiness, religiosity, responsibility, tolerance, and trust. After controlling for demographic and institutional factors, the results indicate that all values, except for responsibility and tolerance, are positively related with either active, inactive, or total membership. Interestingly, a sense of responsibility and tolerance show strong negative relationships with social engagement, which provide another avenue for further discussion. In general, the findings of this study suggest that membership in social organizations is more prevalent in nations with greater societal resources.",
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