Date of Completion


Embargo Period



Colin W. Leach; Jennifer Sterling-Folker

Field of Study



Master of Arts

Open Access

Open Access


The socio-political values predominant in a particular society will reflect the correspondent needs of that society, and these needs can include factors other than material acquisition. In contrast to needs-gratification theory (Maslow, 1970), and post-materialist theory (Inglehart, 1971), this paper discusses agency in terms of relational autonomy (Oshana, 2006), as it pertains to power. I argue that a) personal and national economic affluence or security may not be sufficient to describe social ecology nor fully describe the ways that power can influence values, b) individual and collective relational power is utilitarian and essential, c) fulfillment of material and social needs can be directed by relational as well as material values, d) relational values can be just as common in impoverished or subordinated nations as they are in affluent or empowered nations, and e) values such as justice or egalitarianism may be more commonly held, and more strongly so, among people living under worse social ecologies and economic conditions. A conceptual analysis, a new measure of cross-level relational power, and a survey study of adult convenience samples in 7 nations (N=685) provide preliminary evidence supporting these hypotheses. Implications for theories of socio-political values and hierarchy are discussed.

Zeineddine MA Final Title Approval TC Abstract.docx (15 kB)
Title, Approval, ToC, Abstract pages

Major Advisor

Felicia Pratto