Institutionalization Of Values (On The Example Of The Phenomenon Of The Economy)


Modern information society is in transition to a new (sixth) technological paradigm and a new industrial revolution. The nature and dynamics of this process are associated with deep transformation processes that encompass the value basis of the economic culture. The paper poses and studies the problems of the genesis of spiritual values and their transformation into social institutions. A morphological analysis of cultural values of the economic culture is performed in the context of the main ontological coordinates and general state of the axiological field of modern society. The thesis is argued that the ongoing transformation of cultural values of the economy is determined by the historical experience of its development, and by the accumulated scientific experience. Endogenous and exogenous factors that affect the nature and dynamics of value transformations and their institutionalization are revealed. Due to deterministic nature of value transformations, abstract interpretation of value transformations and ideas about economics as a value-neutral field of knowledge acquisition are no more irrelevant. The main causes and factors of value transformation in the sphere of society’s economic activity of people and its main archetypes are revealed. The paper puts forward the thesis about transformation of values and their transformation into social institutions through the two lenses of human existence: strategic and tactical. Actualization of the values of both social rules and norms occurs in both strategic and tactical aspects of human existence. The symbiosis of these aspects has a determining impact on formation of the economic (economic) consciousness of the individual.

Keywords: Axiologyconsciousnessinstitutionsocietyeconomyvalue


Human consciousness is valuable. This means that a person evaluates all objects and critically analyses them. "Value is not only a function of volition, but also an idea of this" (Lappo-Danilevsky, 2017, p. 185). However, many values never transform into institutions – norms of social behavior. This causes growth of social deviations in society, manifestations of deviant and delinquent behavior of people. Therefore, an analysis of the transformation of values into social institutions seems to be relevant (Stozhko, 2018). This process determined by the entire previous course of history is caused by the accumulated historical experience of mankind. "Shamelessly deceive those who claim that the proper economy is the economy that ignores history" (Hart, 2013, p. 33).

Problem Statement

Transformation of the value into a social institution is inextricably bound up with the formation of personality. It is within the framework of this process that an individual sees an image of the value as a kind of an ideal model for perceiving the world around him. This model is supplemented by conceptual definition, and therefore, categorical and value thinking are formed and developed almost simultaneously. Thinking is possible only in concepts and terms, in an internal self dialogue with the self. Without words, images lack objectivity, become blurred and are quickly forgotten, like fleeting dreams and obsessions. Therefore, the problem of transforming values into institutions is simultaneously a problem of the formation of the personality and its incorporation into society.

Research Questions

Despite widespread ideas about spontaneous development of the economy and society (Luman, 2004) and inability to imagine their future development in any definite form (Tokaryk, 2005), researchers are increasingly turning to the traditional idea of determinism, the principle of knowability and the possibility of successful construction of the future (Ladyman, 2002; Porus, 2018). This involves propagation of a "differentiated concept of progress that considers different types of progressive changes that constitute social reality" (Owen, 2002, p. 19).

Transformation of values into institutions should not be considered in a purely game context. This transformation is significant for the individual and for society, and its perception should be built in the coordinates of the real and the proper. Therefore, there is a need to verify modern postmodern theoretical and methodological ideas about spontaneous nature of our consciousness (Nalimov, 2011), about spontaneous nature of social development (Luman, 2004), and about arbitrary ideological "assemblies", "rhizomes" and "the plateau" (Deleuz & Guattari, 2010).

It must be conceded that in spite of a wide range of publications on this issue the meaning of the concepts of the value foundations of the economy is still very broad and uncertain. Some researchers reduce these to ideals, others consider these as patterns, and some others treat these as universal standards. In turn, researchers interpret each of these definitions in different ways. For example, the ideal is interpreted as an axiological universal of culture, or as a value orientation, or as a conceivable image of perfection.

In this regard, current foreign studies focus on a wide range of characteristics of the formation of a new economic (economic) reality: pragmatism (Amade, 2003), metaphysical (Badiou, 2000), cultural (Yanger, 2002) and civilizational (Brandel, 1992) aspects. Economic factors, in particular, entrepreneurial activity, also have a major impact on transformation of spiritual and moral values into social institutions (Auder, 2007).

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of the study is a historical and philosophical analysis of transformation of values ​​and the process of their transformation into social institutions. To achieve this purpose, the paper sets out the following goals:

-identification of the causes of the transformation of values ​​into social institutions;

-analysis of endogenous and exogenous factors that determine this transformation;

-identification of strategic (long-term) and tactical (short-term) horizons during value transformation in the context of the formation of a new social reality and development of everyday life.

Research Methods

The paper employs a dialectical approach, and structural-functional, program-targeted, historical-retrospective and hermeneutic research methods. The subject of study is the process of the genesis of values and their transformation into social institutions. The object of the study is values and social institutions in the sphere of society’s economic activity.


Transformation of values into social institutions occurs in a certain social and ontological space. Eternal, long-term and short-term values can be distinguished in terms of time. In terms of levels of social and ontological space, they can also be divided into universal (public), private (group), and specific (individual-personal). In terms of the spheres of activity, it is possible to concretize the values of the economy, politics, culture and ecology.

In the context of the significance of values, they can be grouped into absolute (imperative), implicit (implicit) and conjunctive (innovative) ones.

Morphological analysis of value transformations enables development of certain theoretical and methodological matrices, which provide more specific and detailed consideration of value transformation processes. For example, value-price correlation (high, medium, low) typically includes nine price situations (strategies). Specific values can also be correlated with specific parameters of space and time. The matrices obtained in these cases indicate a different degree of determination of specific values. Thus, various drive lines of impact are discovered within the axiological field of the economy and peculiar axiological "faults". An example of this drive line of an axiological field is an ideology that not only unites, but sometimes disunites people based on their commitment to different values. History shows that boundless value pluralism gives rise to spiritual anarchy when, on the contrary, a single social morality and strength of mind are required. Inversely, the convergence and integration of values forms a common axiological field, which makes the basis for immanent theories and views. They promote dynamic development in politics, economy and culture. The view that no paradigms have occurred in the economy over the past hundred years contradicts historical facts (Lucas, 2013).

Transformation of values as a spiritual and moral coordinate system is revealed through the process of their transformation into social institutions – generally accepted standards of behavior. This transformation is due to several reasons.

First, it is the development of the economic entity by the personality, who changes its needs and interests at different stages of his own life cycle, and due to changes in the economic sphere at different stages of its development.

Secondly, it is complex demographic and social changes in the structure of society. These changes (growth or decrease in population, changes in its population density in the territory, the ratios of different age groups, etc.) also lead to transformation of values ​​in economic practice.

Thirdly, it is imbalance (full and partial) and disproportion (between different types, forms and methods of society’s economic activity, incomes and expenses of people, their place and role in the public space).

Fourthly, it is endogenous changes within the value systems, which do not correspond to the objective real conditions of the economy and cannot be quickly changed by economic practice. The time lag required for these changes characterizes the processes of value transformations.

Fifthly, it is aberration (distortion and degradation) of specific values due to ideological struggle in society. In this regard, the denial of value determination objectively leads to permissiveness and occurrence of negative values (Lossky, 1994).

When developing, some of the values are sometimes "removed" from the agenda as irrelevant or even rudimentary. Assimilation and inclusion also indicate transformation of values. Thus, we can distinguish two major archetypes of transformation of values and their transformation into social institutions: exclusive and inclusive. Both archetypes differ not only in the results, but also in the process of transformation itself. The first type is related to with external determination, and the second one refers to self-development. At the same time, there are no completely "set" or completely "free" scenarios of value transformation. The process implies preservation of the content in different values that face everyday life; otherwise, they would simply cease to exist. At the same time, they change their character and integrate into the existing system of society's values. The most appropriate term to designate this construct of social and spiritual reality is symbiosis (coexistence of two different organisms that brings mutual benefit).

However, the process of value transformation is affected by the state and society. The philosophical principle of relativism is the basis for artificial transformation of values set by certain social forces, when relativity and conventionality of certain values is absolute, and the existence of absolute (imperative) values of human existence is doubted.

Speculative and relativistic factors destroy the cultural core of society and change the content and nature of everyday lives of certain people who live and carry out their economic activities. This scenario can be referred to as "performance society", in which roles are given to those who are approved by the "backstage" (Kara-Murza, 2005).

At the same time, everyday life "takes place here and now but, at the same time, it turns out to be hidden from the direct gaze of man". Note that "until now, philosophical thought does not distinguish the concepts of everyday life and everyday routine, vanity and triviality of our life. Everyday life that used to serve as a background for social processes now appears to be their dominant beginning" (Serto, 2013, p. 32).

It seems promising to distinguish between everyday life and everyday routine as two theoretical and philosophical constructs, the first of which can be relatively easily changed, while the second one is less subject to changes (relatively stable). The concepts of variability and stability are two most important features of transformation. The dialectical relationship between these features is multidimensional: society can simultaneously be in the phase of both everyday routine and everyday life. This phenomenon can be due to the transition of quantitative changes into qualitative ones. Occurrence and accumulation of changes are not likely to cause the transition of society's state to its new quality until a certain time. This requires a critical mass of changes that can destroy (replace) the existing cultural core of society.

An analysis of everyday life shows that people's social actions are always a space for struggle (for freedom, for the right to vote, for livelihood, etc.). In this regard, social competition, as a form of struggle typical of the society’s economic activity, is aimed at providing necessary material conditions (means of subsistence). Based on the determinism of material factors in everyday life, some researchers claim that everyday life and social practices used are initially determined. At the same time, another view implies that the use of the designed action models by the subject often leads to the creation of a new product – social practice. This process is often hidden, since a new social practice causes rejection of old social practice by the subjects. Similar to the struggle between orthodoxy and heresy typical of religion, the economy sector exhibits a typical contradiction between the "general line" and its deviations, between management and self-government, and between social cooperation and competition. Even competition reveals a contradiction between fair and unfair competition.

Everyday routine is transformed into a new everyday life in the long term, slowly, which indicates a strategic (long-term) trend in its development. In other words, everyday routine is able to show its ability to change only in diachrony, whereas everyday life manifests itself in synchrony. The very terminology speaks volumes: the term everyday routine implies a custom, a historically established form of being, and the term everyday life takes a short period (day) as a criterion for change.

If we consider transformation of values and their transition to social institutions with regard to time aspect, this is undoubtedly a long-term (diachronic) process. Its implementation requires a long-term (strategic) approach, which makes it possible to evaluate the very prospect of changes.

It is believed that social strategies that change everyday life and transform routine are always the privilege of the powerful. In the philosophical literature, the strategy of constructing everyday life is considered as "calculation of the correlation of forces, which becomes possible when the subject of will and power is distinguished (enterprise, army, city, scientific institution)". These strategies "make is possible to manage relationships with external environment that represent goals or threats" (Serto, 2013, p. 45).

Strategies are associated with three types of power: the power of place over time, the power of view, and the power of knowledge. First of all, the strategies are characterized by domination over space in which the powerful will take actions. During the strategies’ implementation, the places are defined for interaction with another (external, alien) space. The presence of own place enables accumulation of forces and resources that may be useful during the planned expansion, and independence from changing circumstances. These places are characterized by the presence of various boundaries (from the state or city borders to fences or road boundaries), in which a special type of rationality and a well-defined set of possibilities and prohibitions prevail. Any strategic rationality is established in accordance with this principle: scientific, political or military (Searle, 1999).

In addition to the strategy, there is the tactic of constructing everyday life. Tactics are actions in the place controlled by the enemy. This is a structured place with clearly defined rules and laws. A tactician is forced to obey the laws, but he needs to use non-standard thinking patterns and interaction models for the success of his own actions. He has to avoid concentration of his forces at certain points and to constantly move around the controlled place in anticipation of a convenient moment for attack. Since a tactician cannot establish control over place and ensure domination over other resources, he is forced to subordinate time: "Tactics have no other place than the the place of the other one. It penetrates the place fragmentarily but does not possess it completely and is not able to keep control over it at a distance." And more: "Tactics are determined by the absence of power, just as strategy is organized by the approval of power" (Searle, 1999). The moment of transition from force to cunning is the moment of turning strategy into tactics. The social system uses strategies to set the action models for individuals and the legitimate forms of knowledge. Thus, everyday life is determined by certain social practices, it becomes an important sign of social reality, and its content is inextricably interrelated with economic activities.

The use of different social practices to construct everyday life is often considered as a game in social relationships (Searle, 1999). Theory of games has a long history (Knight & Morgenshtern, 2012). The game is based on the existence of certain rules that players are forced to obey. The moves are relevant to the situations in which players find themselves. The repetition of parties by different players leads to the formation of memory that classifies the schemes of actions taken in certain situations.


Modern economic practice shows that the key condition for transformation of values ​​into social institutions is not "traditional" and abstract values (freedom, equality, etc.), but "transformed values" (social responsibility, social justice, social partnership, etc.) and subject (productive and creative) abilities of the individual. These values and abilities determine the significance of "traditional" values ​​in the psychology and consciousness of people and expand their applied morphology. This transformation is aimed at specifying (from the general to the particular) and adapting (from the ideal to the rule) the highest values of being in a particular sphere of the society’s economic activity. This process is multidimensional and implies the formation of a new type of economic consciousness – creative consciousness (Nelske, 2005), which organically combines the values of spirituality and pragmatism (Fomenko, Stozhko, & Lavrov, 2015) and a new type of economic thinking – lateral thinking (Bono, 1970; Kotler & Bess, 2017).


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Stozhko*, D. (2019). Institutionalization Of Values (On The Example Of The Phenomenon Of The Economy). In D. Karim-Sultanovich Bataev, S. Aidievich Gapurov, A. Dogievich Osmaev, V. Khumaidovich Akaev, L. Musaevna Idigova, M. Rukmanovich Ovhadov, A. Ruslanovich Salgiriev, & M. Muslamovna Betilmerzaeva (Eds.), Social and Cultural Transformations in the Context of Modern Globalism, vol 76. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 2972-2978). Future Academy.