What are the twelve core values in US society identified by sociologist Robin Williams?

Expert Answers info

Chanel Hane eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2019

write11 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Social Sciences, and Science

In 1970, sociologist Robin Williams identified twelve core values in American society. These twelve values include personal achievement, work, individualism, humanitarianism, efficiency and practicality, progress, material comfort, science and rationality, equality, democracy, freedom, and racial and group superiority.

People in the US strive to become successful and accomplished and surpass others through personal achievement. Work is valued in the US as a way to be productive and contribute to achievement and society. Individualism is described as promoting and relying on a person's own strength and sense of self, or having one's own identity even while being part of a group or nation. Helping others in need and having sympathy for fellow human beings is expressed through humanitarianism. The ability to get things done quickly and efficiently while not wasting resources is practiced through efficiency and practicality. Americans value progress, the effort to move forward and make improvements in many different areas of life. Material comforts are important in the US: having basic needs met, such as food and shelter, and the ability to live in relative comfort. Adapting science and rationality to promote improvements in the world of scientific discovery and technology is a part of American life. Many Americans strive to promote equality within opportunity, culture, and society. Democracy has been a value of the United States since the founding of the country; it ideally allows for the expression of personal opinions and the making of decisions based on majority vote. The...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 513 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


check Approved by eNotes Editorial

pohnpei397 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2009

write35,413 answers

starTop subjects are History, Literature, and Social Sciences

check Approved by eNotes Editorial