Role of Society

  • Culture and Religion – Religion and culture are more or less interlinked and their codes are most influential factor in value inculcation through societal channels. For instance, Indian value of Tolerance and Mutual acceptance is heavily drawn from Hindu texts.
  • Tradition and customs – These are the basic essence of any societal setup. Some of the underlying values behind tradition and custom are loyalty (Raksha-bandhan), Belongingness (Holi) etc.
  • Political setup – This may be either Democratic or autocratic, based on the nature of political state, suitable values are transmitted among citizens. Though sometimes, Politics of other state can influence our values towards incumbent setup. For example, Recent protests in Hongkong for democratic rights despite being an autonomous region of China.
  • Economy – Economic setup of the society too influences values of members of the society. For instance, socialist economy promotes the value of equity whereas market economy inculcates values of creativity and competition.
  • Mass Media – In the digital age, this assumes higher significance. Recent controversy surrounding social media companies leaking data to private firms in order to analyse the behaviour of voters for Political benefits (Cambridge Analytica case). This is a double edge sword where one can learn the value of togetherness, belongingness etc. (#Metoo movement) or can spread hate and communal feelings (Recent Islamophobic twitter trends).
  • Civil society – Civil society mobilize people based on a common cause and promote their cause using media, demonstrations etc. and thus, influence people’s values. For instance, MKSS movement which led to RTI Act, 2005 in India inculcated the value of openness and transparency in public life.
  • Leadership – Leaders mould people’s attitudes through persuasion or demonstration effect. For example, celebrities affect people’s values in terms of their dressing, eating, behaviour etc.



  •  Diversity of values – In a multi-cultural society like India, there are tons of diverging values across cultures. For instance, Jainism advocates strict vegetarianism whereas other religions doesn’t prohibit eating non-veg foods.
  • Societal morality – Mostly driven by traditions and customs. Several of its tenets are against the liberal sentiments and constitutional morality. For instance, Institution of Khap Panchyat in North Indian states punishes those adults who engages in love marriage or inter-caste marriages.
  • Role models – Socio-Religious institutions and leaders are losing credibility due to involvement in immoral activities. Either people don’t trust them or some blind followers goes any extent to defend the immorality. For instance, various religious leaders are accused of sexual harassment of minor girls.
  • Vested interest – Social institutions are often driven by varied form of socio-economic-political interest. They promote those values that are status-quoist in nature since slight amount of deviation may bring radical changes in society and these institutions may lose their bread and butter. For instance, many right wing organisations advocate that women should only do caring work and should not join workforce.
  • Social boycott – Social institutions apply highly irrational enforcement mechanism to punish those who deviate from social norms. Most of the time, it turns out be counter-productive. For instance, growth of Naxalism movement may be considered as a reaction by lower caste people to the atrocities committed by Upper-caste people on them. Thus, social boycott doesn’t help in the process of socialization but causes instability in social dynamics.