Sociologiens brug af begreberne "holdning" og "værdi": Tradition eller modernitet i metodeudviklingen


  • Bjarne Andersson



Belief, Attitude, behaviour


Bjarne Andersson: Sociology’s use of the concepts of attitude and value. Tradition or modernity in the development of method. In the current sociological tradition, the term “attitude“ is frequently used, mostly in studies of opinions, voting behaviour, and values. The theoretical roots of the term “attitude“ lie in the formative years of a special branch of philosophy: experimental psychology, especially in the works of Wilhelm Wundt in the late 1800s and in the scholars he inspired. In the 1920s and 1930s some of these scholars introduced a sociological version of “attitude“ as a counter-concept in the scientific competition between psychology and sociology. This article outlines the processes: belief – attitude – behaviour, and discuses the relevance of attitude measurement as an analytical tool in sociology. The frequently misused prerequisite of behaviour intention as a correlate to attitude and to factual action is demonstrated by two examples: J.H. Goldthorpe’s Wauxhall-study of car assembly workers and Margaret Mead’s anthropological study of gender and society in Samoa. If sociology is going to make “attitude“ a useful (and measurable) concept capable of describing the conflict between a post-modern and a post-traditional complex of values, it is necessary to further cooperation between empirical oriented sociology and philosophy.