Changing social values

Changing social values. Social values are the fundamental ideas we have about people and society in general. They include ideas about race, gender, families, children, violence, personal responsibility and behaviour, and the law itself. Social values tend to change quite slowly – but they do change. Prior to 1972, for example, women in the workforce received only three quarters of the average male salary, even if they were doing the same work as men. Shifting conceptions about the status of women produced social and political pressure. This pressure eventually led to minimum wage laws that brought women’s pay in line with that of men. Changing attitudes to narcotic drugs, homosexuality and divorce are also examples of changing social values that contributed to law reform.