Ideologies, Goals, and Values

By Feliks Gross | Go to book overview

12
Distant Goals

Goal Range and Culture

Cultures and civilizations differ in the nature of their goals or major objectives inspired by religion, political beliefs, or various needs. They differ also in terms of goal ranges, the time span of goals, time and individual as well as collective attention span needed to achieve the objectives, hence they differ in duration of projects and plans. This difference in goals and their time span is an indicator of a historical period or of a civilization, for in those projects and goal-oriented activities not only are expressed needs, but so are ideas, beliefs, will, and organization of effort.

The strength of needs and ideas can be observed in the quantity and quality of human effort, in man's will to construct, to build churches, parliament houses, university campuses, aqueducts, or ancient temples.

Let us begin with simple, even obvious, examples of two sets of different pragmatic goals--directly related to urgency of basic needs: hunting and agriculture. From there we shall continue with complex (ideological and religious) goals.

Hunting requires shorter goal ranges than farming. In hunting societies goals are geared to immediate needs and objectives. Spacing between immediate, intermediate, and consummatory goals is not as far extended in time as in farming. In hunting the time distances could be measured in days, sections of days, or hours, while in farming measurements are made in months, weeks, and days. Farming calls for far more intermediary steps (instrumental goals) than hunting.

Rewards in hunting are almost immediate, once goals are reached. Goal spacing is, of course, short: (1) Decision (usually a group goes hunting); (2) readying cars, rifles; (3) meeting hunting company; (4) action (hunting); (5) if successful, goal (reward or achievement) becomes visible; (6) return home. All this is a

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Ideologies, Goals, and Values
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Recent Titles in Contributions in Sociology Series Editor: Don Martindale ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Figures and Tables vii
  • Foreword ix
  • Introduction xxi
  • Acknowledgments xxxiii
  • Part I Ideologies 1
  • 1: The Directive and Regulatory System 3
  • 2: Ideologies--The World Outlook and Values 26
  • 3: The Structure of Ideologies 44
  • 4: The Appeal and Function of Values 58
  • 5: Definition of Values 71
  • Part II Goals 75
  • 6: Types of Goals 77
  • 7: Formation of Goals 91
  • 8: Horizontal Sequence of Goals 103
  • 9: Strategies 119
  • 10: Social Planning and Ethics 128
  • 11: The Logic of Planning 145
  • 12: Distant Goals 156
  • 13: Social Rhythm and Cyclical Goals 183
  • Part III Values 209
  • 14: Hierarchies of Values 211
  • 15: Multiple Sets of Values 237
  • 16: In Search of Universal Values 273
  • 17: Toleration and Pluralism 300
  • Bibliography 321
  • Index 337
  • About the Author 345
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