thanks to Pam Hardwick)
are the manifestation of our VALUES - they are expressed through
what we SAY or DO -
VALUES make us
accept certain things and reject others - how we act and what
we say present our ATTITUDES - i.e. our VALUES made manifest.
These make up our belief system. Values
are beliefs that guide our behaviour. They have often been bolstered
by religious sanctions: God said this is the way to live. However,
they are socially constructed and devised to allow society to
operate with the least amount of conflict.
VALUES define what we accept as good, right or acceptable. We may
have our own personally thought-out and constructed values but
many of the values we accept are socially or culturally constructed.
Society develops a value system or a set of values and conveys
these to us through schools, governments, churches, the media,
the family etc. Nationalities often have different values which
mean communication between nations is sometimes difficult. We
value the freedom of people to have as many children as they wish
while China has introduced the value of a one child limit because
the value of inhibiting population growth is more important to
When writing about values , remember generally, values cannot
be one-word statements. To say that the text values truth does
not really identify the particular value regarding truth that
the text encourages us to accept. Also to say we have a value
of being anti-war leads to a contradiction. Values are what we
consider 'valuable beliefs' therefore we can't have a negative
value. If we value the right to life then our attitude will be
anti-war. If we value the innocence of childhood, then our attitude
will be against exploiting children. If we value freedom to then
our attitude will be against the idea of 'freedom from' (The Handmaid's
We also need to be careful to consider what attitudes and values
the question is asking for. Is the question asking for:
how values are manifested in our actions and thoughts to others.
ATTITUDES are our feelings towards certain idea
or issues. Attitudes dictate how we react in concrete situations.
Authors reveal certain attitudes within their texts whether these
texts be fiction or non-fiction, print or non-print. Attitudes
are conveyed through the use of specific language which positions
you to accept the author’s attitudes – ‘terrorist’ for example
immediately positions us to regard the person in a negative light.
As readers or viewers, we need to be aware that texts position
us to accept certain attitudes so that we can either accept or
reject these attitudes .
Remember to distinguish
- the reader's attitudes and values;
- the author's attitudes and values;
- or the attitudes and values revealed within the text (which
may be different to the author's values and attitudes in satire
Ideology is a
belief system that consists of certain values and attitudes. It
is a collective view of the world. It is secular and religious.
Ideology unconsciously determines our 'way of seeing', creates
values and set standards that guide our attitudes.
for Ideology: Ideology - is a system of assumptions by which a society operates,
and which permeates everything it produces, including literature.
all the things or 'ways of seeing' that we take for granted. They
are naturally assumed to be true and become part of what is termed
'common sense'. However, there is no such thing as these truths
and assumptions are socially constructed. We become so used to
hearing them and taking them for granted that they give the appearance
of truth or fact.
facet of the course is ISSUES.
Issues are areas
of conflict which concern a particular group. - something controversial
within a community, whether a small sector of a suburb, part of
a school, or the whole world Examples include. abortion, migration,
Aboriginal land rights. An issue can often arise as a consequence
of a clash between two sets of VALUES, ATTITUDES and/or IDEOLOGIES.
Relative values - interesting article
COMPREHENSION COMMENT REVISION –
1. Consider the techniques employed by
the author to convey his/her values and attitudes. Comment upon
your response to these values and attitudes.
2. What values and attitudes are being
presented in this passage?
3. Discuss how this text represents gender
/ women / men / females / males / boys / girls/ gender, the experience
of youth, social class, the aged, the family…
4. Consider your reactions to or reading
of one passage. You might consider your attitudes and values and/or
other reading experiences.
5. Discuss the ways in which one passage
employs narrative conventions and style of language to influence
the readers’ response.
6. Comment on the issues and values in
this passage / these passages.
7. What attitudes to the theme /issues
raised in this article / passage does the writer encourage in
you? Analyse the techniques used by the author to shape your response.
8. How does the writer use setting / character
/ point of view / choice of language / narrative structure / dialogue
to position the reader in relation to the issue raised in this
article/ passage? (Select the most relevant three for the passage
you are analysing.)
9. Consider the comment the author makes
on human values and social structures. Make detailed references
to support your answer.
10. What attitude to ……. does the writer
encourage in you, the reader? Analyse the techniques that have
been used in achieving this response.
11. How does the use of setting, choice
of language and selection of detail position the reader to respond
to certain minority groups.
12. How has the the writer challenged /
endorsed your attitudes to the subject of this article / passage?
See also article relative values.