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Five Common Human Concerns

 

Explanations > Values > Five Common Human Concerns

 

Kohls (1981) identified five common human concerns, plus three possible responses to each one, based on the Value Orientations of Kluckhohn, and Strodtbeck (1961).

 

Concern

Possible Responses

Human Nature

Evil

Mixed

Good

What is the basic nature of people? People are basically bad, selfish, untrustworthy and need to be controlled. Everyone has some degree of good and evil, so figure them out before trusting them. Most people are basically pretty good at heart; they are born good.

Man-Nature Relationship

Subordinate to Nature

Harmony with Nature

Dominant over Nature

How should people relate to nature? Nature is driven by external forces. What happens was meant to happen. We should learn to cohabit, living in harmony with nature. Nature is there to be dominated, plundered and controlled.

Time Sense

Past

Present

Future

What part of time is most important? We should learn from history and continue traditions. Live for today. Now is all there is. Plan for tomorrow. Be prepared. Sacrifice now for a better future.

Activity

Being

Becoming

Doing

How should we act? Just 'be'. There is no point in striving for false goals. You are enough already. Become what you are capable of becoming. Reach your potential. Action speaks louder. Reward comes from what you achieve.

Social Relations

Hierarchical

Collateral

Individual

What is the best form of social organization? There is a natural order. Some people are superior and others want to follow. Those in charge decide and get more. Act as a group. Everyone shares decisions and outcomes. Individuals should decide for themselves. We are in charge of our own destiny.

So what?

When working with people, understand their position on this table and hence what their values in action will be. From this, you can determine how to converse and interact with them.

See also

Beliefs about people, Kluckholn and Strodtbeck's Dimensions of Culture

 

Kohls, L. R. (1981). Developing intercultural awareness. Washington, D.C.: Sietar Press. 

Kluckhohn, F. R., & F. L. Strodtbeck. (1961). Variations in value orientations. Evanston, IL: Row, Peterson

 

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