Common Cause: The case for working with our cultural values | Value (Ethics)

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This report is intended to catalyse debate on current approaches to tackling a wide range of challenges - including global poverty, climate change and biodiversity loss. Whatever the success of civil society organisations in beginning to address such challenges, these often seem to be intractable or worsening. Throughout this report such challenges are referred to, collectively, as 'bigger-than-self' problems. This is to distinguish them from another class of problem: one that it is clearly in an individual's immediate self-interest to invest energy and resources in helping to tackle (for example, an insensitive development in their neighbourhood). For someone involved in civic engagement in the UK, bigger-than-self problems may include those which face people elsewhere - for example, human rights violations in a distant country. They may also include problems that will affect people in the UK, but where the 'return' on an individual's personal effort to help address this problem is unlikely to justify his or her expenditure of resources in helping to tackle the problem. Bolder leadership from both political and business leaders is necessary if proportional responses to these challenges are to emerge, but active public engagement with these problems is of crucial importance. This is partly because of the direct material impacts of an individual's behaviour (for example, his or her environmental footprint), partly because of lack of consumer demand for ambitious changes in business practice, and partly because of the lack of political space and pressure for governments to enact change.
  Common Cause The Case for Working with our Cultural Values September 2010 THIS REPORT ISPUBLISHED INPARTNERSHIP BY:  Common Cause page 2 This report was written by Tom Crompton , Change Strategist at WWF-UK, under an initiative developed as part of WWF-UK’s Strategies for Change Project. For further information about this project, please contact Tom at: , or on +44 (0)777 6467553. Extensive input was provided by Joe Brewer , director, Cognitive Policy Works (; Paul Chilton , professor of linguistics, University of Lancaster, UK (; and Tim Kasser , professor of psychology, Knox College, Illinois, US ( Joe Brewer contributed invaluably to the discussions of the Working Group and inputted importantly to earlier drafts of Section 3 and  Appendix 3. Paul Chilton contributed substantial parts of Section 3 as these nally appear. Section 2 and Appendices 1 and 2 draw heavily on previous  work with Tim Kasser, and Tim commented extensively on the whole document. © WWF-UK Permission is granted to reproduce material in this report without prior written consent so long as proper attribution is made.This report is only available electronically, and further copies can be downloaded at: Additional information on this project, and other related reports, will also be found at this page.  Common Cause page 3   CONTENTS FOREWORD 05 WORKING GROUP 07 ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS 07 SUMMARY AND GUIDE 08 1. CONTEXT 17   1.1 Current approaches to tackling global challenges are failing 171.2 Public demand for change is critically important 181.3 In making judgments, feelings are more important than facts 181.4 Selling hamburgers, selling behaviour change 201.5 Politics and values 231.6 Ethics and civil society organisations 231.7 Some crucial questions for civil society organisations to address 25Summary, Section 1 26 2. GOALS AND VALUES 272.1 The organisation of values 272.2 Values and behaviour 302.3 Values and bigger-than-self problems 322.4 The dynamic nature of value systems 332.5 What factors serve to strengthen values? 352.6 Are people inherently selsh? 36Summary, Section 2 39 3. FRAMES AND FRAMING 403.1 Introduction to frames 403.2 Frames and political action 413.3 Frames and conceptual metaphors 443.4 Frames, conceptual metaphors and values 453.5 Some examples of deep frames 463.5.1 ‘Self-interest’ and ‘common-interest’ frames 473.5.2 ‘Strict father’ and ‘nurturant parent’ frames 533.5.3 ‘Elite governance’ and ‘participative democracy’ frames 55Summary, Section 3 58 Common Cause page 3  Common Cause page 4   4. FROM THEORY TO PRACTICE: WORKING WITH VALUES AND DEEP FRAMES   594.1 Principle 1: Be transparent and participatory, and demand the same standard from others 594.2 Principle 2: Ensure that communications and campaigns embody the values that they seek to promote 614.3 Principle 3: Be prepared to work for systemic change 614.4 Principle 4: Build new coalitions 624.5 Principle 5: Understand the full impact of policy 644.6 Principle 6: Manage trade-offs where these are unavoidable 684.7 Principle 7: Tailor the message to the audience 744.8 Principle 8: Make it fun and dare to dream 74Summary, Section 4 76 APPENDIX 1: THE ORGANISATION OF LIFE-GOALS AND VALUES   77 A1.1 Life-goals 77 A1.2 Values 79 APPENDIX 2: VALUES AND BIGGER-THAN-SELF PROBLEMS   82 A2.1 Peacefulness 82 A2.2 Attitudes to human rights 82 A2.3 Attitudes to people who are ‘different’ 83 A2.4 Attitudes to global poverty 84 A2.5 Attitudes to the environment 84 A2.6 Civic involvement for social change 86 APPENDIX 3: TOOLS FOR ANALYSING FRAMES   87 A3.1 Participant response analysis 87 A3.2 Text analysis 87 A3.2.1 Large-scale analysis 87 A3.2.2 Close-text analysis 87 A3.3 Taking account of other aspects of lived experience 88 REFERENCES 89  ENDNOTES 97  WORKING GROUP MEMBERS 100 Common Cause page 4
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