chapter
8 Pages

THE CONCEPTION AND CLASSIFICATION OF VALUES

We have used in our own definition the term 'normative', referring to desirable, instead of 'norm', referring to a standard to which a social group generally conforms or which the group manifests in conduct. The distinction may be theoretically crucial for purposes of classification and measurement. In the real world, we are convinced, norms are created and emerge from a normative or value system that, properly measured, can reveal how norms are dictated. Moreover, as we have argued, the values to which we refer in subcultural theory are part of a group standard and are not responses merely to a specific or immediate situation. A specific situation may provoke a subcultural response, of course, but in Thomas and Znaniecki's sense, a cultural or subcultural response exists prior to the situation, new as it may be, and is, in short, a prepotent tendency to act that has been internalized by the individual as a commanding choice.