Scholarly article on topic 'The Role of Students’ Socio-Cultural and Individual factors in Their Value Attitudes'

The Role of Students’ Socio-Cultural and Individual factors in Their Value Attitudes Academic research paper on "Sociology"

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Abstract of research paper on Sociology, author of scientific article — Marzieh Dehghani, Hamideh Pakmehr, Fatemeh Mirdoraghi

Abstract The formation and establishment of students’ value attitudes are multi-reason notion incorporating personal, social, cultural, familiar, economic and religious factors. Focusing on the first three factors, this study aimed to study the factors affecting students’ value attitudes in Urmia, Iran, universities. 384 students were selected by multi-stage clustering sampling method. They completed a researcher-made questionnaire regarding their value attitudes. Finding showed that social factors have the most important role in students’ value attitudes and some “religion-based” cultural factors have relatively important role in formation these attitudes. Then, students’ involvement in various social and religious activities can develop their positive attitudes.

Academic research paper on topic "The Role of Students’ Socio-Cultural and Individual factors in Their Value Attitudes"

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Procedía Social and Behavioral Sciences 15 (2011) 3079-3083

WCES-2011

The Role of Students' Socio-Cultural and Individual factors in Their

Value Attitudes

Marzieh Dehghania , Hamideh Pakmehrb, Fatemeh Mirdoraghic

a. Ph.D Student of curriculum studies in Ferdowsi University ofMashhad. Mashhad, Iran

b. M.A. Student of curriculum studies in Ferdowsi University of Mashhad. Mashhad, Iran

c. M.A. Student of general psychology in Ferdowsi University of Mashhad. Mashhad, Iran

Abstract

The formation and establishment of students' value attitudes are multi-reason notion incorporating personal, social, cultural, familiar, economic and religious factors. Focusing on the first three factors, this study aimed to study the factors affecting students' value attitudes in Urmia, Iran, universities. 384 students were selected by multi-stage clustering sampling method. They completed a researcher-made questionnaire regarding their value attitudes. Finding showed that social factors have the most important role in students' value attitudes and some "religion-based" cultural factors have relatively important role in formation these attitudes. Then, students' involvement in various social and religious activities can develop their positive attitudes.

Key words: Individual Factors, Social Factors, Cultural Factors, Values Attitude, Students;

1. Introduction

Values are of concepts that human beings have thought about from a long time ago. They have been considered by philosophers firstly, but due to their importance, entered into other parts of human knowledge fields gradually. Durkim argues that the violation of the values and regulations a society set forth means not to behave according to others' tendencies and expectations (cf. Alder, 2004). Nowadays, different fields need to know values and consider them from various points of view. One possible explanation for this is that values are concepts that make sense of our lives and they are conceived as effective directors guiding humans in their lives. Values are concepts, not facts. Then they are relative and are not understandable till they become objective. They are important, because they form the contents of social norms and are the base of our evaluation of surrounding environments and situations and regulate human behavior in social aspects (Gholi-Zadeeh, 2009). In fact, there are vast amount of collaborative values and conceptions behind all kinds of collective behaviors and tendencies, organizations, patterns, social symbols, roles and codes (Feather, 1975). Only by understanding and recognizing these values we are able to justify behaviors. Regarding the importance of values in today's life, the understanding of them is of current main attempts. Citing Roukige, Borgatta (1992) describes a value as a permanent belief by which a person prefers an especial behavioral manner or ultimate status to another.

* Corresponding author. Tel.: +98 914 4469346; fax: +98 511 8783012 E-mail address:Dehghani_M33@yahoo.com

1877-0428 © 2011 Published by Elsevier Ltd. doi:10.1016/j.sbspro.2011.04.249

The field of social studies has been a context for many related studies since 1970s (Drentea, 2006; Wang et al, 2005). Individuals tend to compare themselves with others and reference groups and like to have a position similar to their positions (Hezar-Jaribi and Astin-Afshan. 2009: 130). Human always desires to be behaved justly (McCare and Costa, 1999). Otherwise, dissatisfaction in both personal and social levels is dominated (Gurr, 1970). Implicating the main role of individual factors, Lyubomirsky (2001: 76) believes that positive attitudes should be developed in order to gain values. Developing positive attitudes in persons cause them to simply solve many problems they encounter at the future.

Globalization is one of challenges human beings have encountered during two later decades and has been deeply affected People's, especially youths and adolescents' identity and value system. Awareness of changes in value system is vital for society administrators and organizations. They should consider society's cultural changes and carefully detect warning signals to protect it and its members. The identification of such changes and reluctances is vital for serving society members and programming for them in the future. Culture as a general style of human life (Anderson et. al. 2004; Bonyanian, 2007; Milner and Bravit, 2006; Salehi-Amiri, 2009, Shahtaleb, et al, 2009) is formed by human interactions and originates from norms and values (UNESCO, 2010). Values are the base and foundation of human culture and also are relative and depend on cultural context and status (Hedayat-Shodeh, 2001). Confirming this, Ronchi (2009) indicates value, traditional and behavioral systems as culture.

Adolescents like to communicate and interact with their friends and when parents prevent them from this interaction, they become inconvenience. Love, kindness, help and companionship are of opportunities a family and family-created network can present to an adolescent (Aliverdinia, 2008: 219). Association with family and society can facilitate the acceptance of social values and norms (Akers and Sellere, 2004). In adolescence, a gap is generally created between adolescents and their parents and their interactions and relations become weak and stressful (Silegmant and Shaffer, 1991). Inglehart (1994) believes that sometimes the worldviews of individuals do not dependent on what their parents and references have taught them, but heavily depend on their own life experiences which may be different from past generations' worldviews. For example, the values of a generation experiencing economic standstill will be different than the values of a generation experiencing economic prosperity. This is true for generations experiencing war situations or complete security (Armaky and Khademi, 2003).

Iran has been subjected to some tremendous social changes and reforms during these decades and value changes in Iran have manifested extremely in big level directing the society towards a transition phase that resulted in more reluctant cultural changes than other countries. Familiarity with new life styles and intercultural exchanges result in some changes in individuals' lives and thoughts -as a base for values and beliefs- and then, changes in their values appear. The understanding, promotion, transmission, change or weakness of social values is important and must be taken into account. Research literature shows that the formation and establishment of value attitudes in students are multi-reason notion incorporating various personal, social, cultural, familiar, economic and religious factors and so on. Focusing on the first three factors, this study aimed to study the factors affecting students' value attitudes in Urmia, Iran, universities.

2. Method

Using Cochran's formula, 384 students were randomly selected by multi-stage clustering sampling method among all students in Urmia universities as research population. They completed a researcher-made questionnaire regarding their value attitudes in Likert scale. Descriptive and inferential statistic methods (especially multiple regression analysis) were used for data analysis. The validity of the questionnaire was confirmed by some academic specialists and its reliability amounted to 0.87 by Cronbach's alpha coefficient.

3. Result

The predictability of the students' personal factors (i.e. their gender, place of residence, the number of their family members, singleness or married), their cultural factors (their participation in Koranic centers, religious associations, cultural centers, scientific associations, art centers and sport clubs) and social factors (education level,

commitment and conscience, participation in social-religious ceremonies, cooperation with local associations, and generosity) in predicting their value attitudes was estimated by multiple regression analysis.

Totally, these three major factors could predict significantly the value attitudes (p=0.015, f(4, 333)= 3.122) (Table 1). Correlation coefficient of 0.19 indicated that these factors could predict about 36% of variance of value attitudes (Table 2).

Table.1. The ANOVA for determining the predictability of dependent variable by independent variables

Model Sum of Squares df Mean of Squares F Sig

Regression 12/123 4 3/031

Reminder 323/263 333 /971 3/122 /015

Total 335/385 337

Table 2. Results of regression equation for variables

Model R R2 Justiffied SE Chf"g df 1 df2 Sig.

R2 d R2 ed F s

1 /190 /036 /025 /98527071 /036 3/122 4 379 /015

As table 3 shows, only the subjects' place of residence could predict 3% of variance of value attitudes (p=0.001) and others could predict only that of about 0.3. Then, students living in affluent regions had relatively less value attitudes than other students.

Table 3. Multiple regressions to explain the role of personal factors, towards the value attitudes students

Variable

Correlations

Zero-order Partial

personal factors

coefficient

gender place of residence

marriage members Family

1/842 -/108 -/867 /107 -/021

-/047 -/185 /043 -/042

2/846 -/847 -3/332 /772 -/718

/005 /398 /001 /441 /474

-/033 -/169 /055 -/039

-/046 -/180 /042 -/039

-/046 -/179 /042 -/023

Having the least correlation with value attitudes (r= 0.18), cultural factors could predict only 0.3% of variance of dependent variable. This factor had minimum role in students' value formation (Table 4). From these, participation in religious association was an exception and predicted about 3% of variance of dependent variable that represented the relative importance of religious associations in forming such values. The domination of religious associations and holding religious ceremonies in religious events throughout the country during each year can be an explanation to the latter finding.

Table .4. Multiple regressions to explain the role of cultural factors, towards the value attitudes students

Model Variable B Beta t Sig. _Correlations_

Zero-order Partial Part

cultural factors

coefficient Religious associations Cultural centers Koranic centers Scientific associations Are associations Sport clubs

3/86 -/173 /024 -/064 -/037 -/016 /028

/179 /030 -/083 -/037 /041 /097

15/74 3/388 /517 -1/388 -/604 /715 1/201

/000 /003 /605 /006 /546 /475 /230

-/184 /073 -/115

/012 /031 /029

-/169 /029 -/078 -/034 /040 /068

-/167 /029 -/077 -/033 /039 /066

Considering the role of social factors in predicting value attitudes, these factors had the highest relationship with the dependent variable (r= 0.24) and predicted 6% of variance of dependent variable. Then social factor primary and heavily affects value attitudes (Table 5). Besides, from these factors, generosity component was the most powerful predictor (Beta=- 0.24, p= 0.000). Participation in social-religious ceremonies (Beta=-0.19), commitment and conscience (Beta= -0. 18), and cooperation with local associations (Beta=- 0.10) had higher ranks for prediction, respectively (p< 0.005).

Table 5. Multiple regressions to explain the role of cultural factors, towards the value attitudes students

Variable

Correlations

Zero-order Partial Part

coefficient 45.89 14.362 .000 -.098 .063 .063

educational level .067 071 1.518 .130 -.318 -.178 -.178

commitment & cons -.317 -.210 -4.270 .000 -.305 -.181 -.181

participation in social -1.093 -.196 -4.346 .000 -.325 -.236 -.236

generosity -.469 -.244 -5.668 .000 -.171 -.103 -.103

cooperation with local -2.314 -.105 -2.479 .014

Social factors

4. Discussion

Values are some notions human beings relate to some states, functions and phenomena. They give meaning to our lives. Values are ideals accepted by a society or a person as a base of their behaviors. In studying the value formation of various social groups, some different factors must be taken into account. This study investigated the effects of students' persona, social and cultural factors on their value attitudes. From the components of personal factor including gender, place of residence, marriage status ad the number of family members, only the place of residence had statistically significant relationship with values. Students living in affluent regions have lower value attitudes. This finding is in accordance with Mohseni (1995) and Ranjeh-Bazoo (2003) studies confirming the lower effects of participants' gender and age on value formation rather than other factors, especially their income and education levels. The participants' participation in cultural activities conceived as cultural factors included 6 components as mentioned above. From these, participation in art associations and cultural centers had significant relationship with their value attitudes. In other word, the students continuously participating in such cultural activities had positively higher value attitudes than the students with lower participation in such activities. This indicates the importance of some cultural factors in value attitudes. However, this factor had totally a weak relationship with value attitudes. This finding is in accord with the findings in Mohseni (1995), Raiye (cf. Ghilaki. 1992), and Ranje-Bazoo's (2003) studies. However, the finding is not in accord with Sham'khani's (2002) findings. The components related to the subjects' social factors all had a significant relationship with their value attitudes. This factor was a more considerable one according to the subjects' views. Then, high social morale and high tendency to participating in different social activities indicate the high level of value attitudes. This finding is in agreement with those of Iran's National Youths' Organization (2002), Ranjeh-Bazoo (2003), Sabbagh-Pour (1994), Teimouri (2000) and Rafi'-Pour (1999). They considered social factor as a main factor after familiar and religious factors which affects value attitudes. Berry and Hansen (1996) and Phelan (1998) emphasized the importance of social factors in value attitudes. However, Alizade-ye-Ghasemi (1999) found that religious, traditional and materialistic factors are more importance in value attitudes formation in Iranians. From personal components, only the participants' place of residence had significant relationship with their value attitudes. This needs some other studies to explain the reasons for such a difference. In concluding, as social factors have important role in students' value attitudes and the relative importance role that some "religion-based" cultural factors have in formation these attitudes, we propose that students' involvement in various social and religious activities can develop their positive attitudes. Due to unexpected small effect of cultural factors on value attitudes, further researches are needed to study the possible reasons. This research considered only some possible factors affecting students value attitudes and there are other factors outside the scope of this study worth studying, such as mass-media, family and economic ones.

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