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50 Examples of Cultural Values

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Cultural values are shared beliefs about behavior, society and way of life that emerge with the history of a traditional culture such as a nation. These can potentially change but can also endure for many centuries whereby they represent the durable character of the culture. The following are illustrative examples of cultural values.

United States

The United States is known for individualism, friendliness, candor and pragmatism. The Constitution of the United States is often cited as encoding the values of American society.
Equality before the law
Equal opportunity
Pursuit of happiness
Religious freedom
Directness and candor
Pragmatism is of American origin and is considered America's most significant contribution to philosophy.


The values of Japan are captured in a document known as the Nihon Shoki that has mythical origins but was probably published around 720 AD during the reign of Empress Jito. This is a copious document that includes the Japanese creation myth and values such as duty, obligation and the importance of maintaining harmonious relationships within society.
Group harmony
Personal responsibility
Respect for authority
Work ethic
Cultured living
Avoiding shame and maintaining honor


Germany has a strong national character known for efficiency and diligence. The nation also developed distinctive pacifist values in the post WWII era.
Democratic freedom
Honesty & direct communication
Rule of law
Thoroughness & reliability
Respect for rules
Privacy & personal space


French cultural values can mostly be traced to the French Revolution such as the motto "Liberté, égalité, fraternité" (liberty, equality, fraternity). Generally speaking, the French value intellectual ideas, debate, culture and quality of life.
Fraternity & community solidarity
Freedom of conscience
Respect for intellectualism
Importance of social safety nets
Importance of debate and discussion
National identity and cultural pride
Laughter, enjoyment and leisure
Value of beauty, style and cultured living

United Kingdom

The United Kingdom, including England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, have a culture that is strongly traditional that includes traditions of tolerance and multiculturalism. Its culture has a regimented feel including values of punctuality, resilience and control of emotions.
Tolerance & multiculturalism
Importance of tradition
Importance of humor & wit
Resilience in the face of adversity
Reserved behavior & control of emotions
Sense of class consciousness
Fair play & sportsmanship
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