Value Orientations in Europe: One Kind of European Identity?

English title: Value Orientations in Europe: One Kind of European Identity?

Author(s): F. Pichler -

Language: English

Type: Conference paper/poster

Year: 2005


It is argued that dominant values and their relation to each other partly shape a society and thus determine its identity to a respectable degree. In my attempt to capture European iden-tity, I analyse value orientations designed by Shalom H. Schwartz and take data from the ESS 2003 (Jowell, NSD). The analysis of values leads towards numerous other questions: 1. Are values contested within and across European societies, i.e. can meaningful variances be observed concerning value orientations? 2. To what degree do people differentiate commitment to particular values (individually), or: How many answer categories are truly necessary to decide whether people identify/do not identify with a particular value or not? 3. What do suggested (Schwartz) corrections of data, e.g. centralization, mean as regards content and what do those imply for statistical analysis and interpretation of value orientations? In the paper I address these and other methodological aspects of measuring Basic Human Values by comparing statistical results with various computed data. I stick to raw data from the ESS, apply the suggested sentralizations by Schwartz, dichotomise value orientations in alternative ways and apply a wide set of statistical methods in national and comparative international perspectives. Methods applied are: preliminary basic univariate and bivariate description of value orientations (correlations), cluster analysis and exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis. The main conclusions are: survey designers shall rethink the necessity of multi-answer categories and thus emphasize/support the development/application of statistical methods for the analysis of categorical data as some questions are easier/more meaningful to answer with a small number of categories. Social research shall disassociate from the unquestioned use of “metric”variables. Data corrections and manipulations should only be applied if interpretation allows for it.

Conference name: 1st Congress of the European Association for Survey Research

Location: Barcelona

Start date: Jul 18, 2005

Type: Paper

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