Family values from the perspective of different generations in Latvian society today


The development of a person’s values and mindset shift are processes that take place throughout a person’s life, but views on basic values are instilled in the family from early childhood and their development continues during the socialization process at school and in society. The family plays a primary role in the transmission of values as important elements of an individual’s character, the teaching of which largely determines the individual’s life path. Just as family structures have changed over time and vary from culture to culture, so too have attitudes towards the family. The article seeks to answer the research question: in times of rapid political, ideological, and social change, does the family as a value and the transmission of family values between generations persist? The article examines the place of the family in the individual’s value system and analyses the differences in the views on the family of different age groups (generations). The analysis uses quantitative data from the European Values Survey, Phase 5 in Latvia (2021, n=1335). The empirical data of the studies are analyzed in an integrated format, together with the analysis of theoretical material. The data show that despite the diversity of family models and the broadening of an understanding of the family, the traditional perception of the family prevails among the Latvian population and in the hierarchy of values, the family is still the most important value in the overall scale of values in the population. The factor that most significantly predicts differences in values and attitudes towards the family is the age of the individual (membership of different generations). Young people (under 29) are significantly more likely than others to see marriage as an outdated form of relationship but are more tolerant of the potential of homosexual couples to become good parents. With an increase in age, the proportion of those who hold traditional views increases proportionally: older generations are generally much more supportive of the institution of marriage, the role of children in marriage, the view that having children is a duty to society, etc.

Aug 23, 2023
Burgasa (Bulgārija)
Maruta Pranka

Socioloģe, LU Filozofijas un socioloģijas institūta pētniece

Ginta Elksne

Socioloģe, LU zinātniskā asistente, strādā LU Filozofijas un socioloģijas institūtā.