Published October 30, 2023 | Version v2
Poster Open

Values and Intangible Cultural Heritage: Policy Recommendations

  • 1. ROR icon National Centre of Scientific Research "Demokritos"


The values that each individual embraces are factors that shape one's personality (Parsons, 1951) at the individual level and their presence provides the appropriate conditions for social well-being and cohesion. Kluckhohn (1951), defined value as "a conception, explicit or implicit, characteristic of an individual or characteristic of a group, of what is desirable, which influences choice from among the available modes, means, and ends of action" (p. 395); thus pointing out their impact on our decisions. From a societal perspective, enhancing awareness on the shared European values (Lisbon Treaty, Article 1, para. 2) and moral values in general, has the potential to provide the basis for strengthening the identity of European citizenship and bringing to the fore a significant part of Europe's Intangible Cultural Heritage, while contributing to the cohesion of European societies. Therefore, one wonders, how can we support this social aspect at the policy level and how can we derive concrete multi-perspective policy recommendations that are value-centric and focus on values awareness and their digitisation.

Towards this aim, we adopted a multi-perspective, participator policy methodology. This entailed: firstly ("top-down" approach), through a literature review we identified the primary policy areas related to the preservation, digitisation and communication of values. Based on this analysis we identified the key thematic areas that we should focus upon. Secondly, we used a "bottom-up" approach, in order to collect stakeholder feedback in an inclusive approach. We used a mixed methods approach for our data collection via quantitative questionnaire surveys (online and offline), and qualitative approaches through focus groups across Europe for a period of 2 years (2022-2023).

The findings of our research validate the importance of values and their digitisation. While at the same time they underline the need to strengthen the scientific exploration and digitisation of values (by museum experts, researchers, academics, educators). Highlighting the need for policy (cultural and educational policy) to formally integrate values, in order to support social cohesion, and European identity for our current and future generations. Towards this aim, our derived policy recommendations focus on awareness creation processes and the need for digitisation of values, targeting diverse stakeholders to promote values and ensure social cohesion, at a national and a European level. Our finding, highlight the need for distinct policy actions, so as to promote values and their importance to the wider society via cultural organisations/museums, which play a key role in raising cultural awareness as well as via concrete policy initiatives that should be incorporated in the Member States' policy agendas, focusing on the digitisation of values. In relation to specific actions/practices that can be adopted by museums and the cultural sector, participants stressed the need for cultural awareness and citizen participation and underlined the role of education-vocational training and technology towards this direction. Furthermore, they pointed out the necessity to strengthen the role of museums/cultural organisations through structural changes and to promote inter-sectoral/cross-sectoral/cross-border cooperation for better results in terms of dissemination of values through concrete actions.



Kluckhohn, C. (1951). Values and Value Orientation in the Theory of Action. In T. Parsons, & E. A.

Shils (Eds.), Toward a General Theory of Action (pp. 388-433). Harper.

Parsons, T. (1951). The Social System. Free Press.



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