Perceptions of Ghanaian values: A focus group study


Ghanaian values have formed part of important social conversations at the national level in recent times. We set out to explore perceptions of values by conducting 24 focus group discussions within the Accra and Tema metropolitan areas in four Ghanaian languages. Participants (Ga = 36; Akan = 35; Ewe = 23; and Dagbani = 18) aged between 20 and 79 (average age: 45.2 years) responding in the context of focus group discussions elaborated on quintessential Ghanaian values with references to examples that point to a consciousness of concepts of traditional and contemporary values. We analysed the data thematically and observed three themes: (1) Traditional Ghanaian values; (2) Lost values and values in transition; and (3) Contemporary Ghanaian values/preferences. Traditional values replicate things done by ancestors, are typical to African customs and practices, and have long been in place. Lost values or values in transition are those once cherished but have been lost or modified in response to social change. Contemporary values were recently developed or introduced. Our findings are important for policy on national values amidst growing concerns for one. They also make contributions to studies on contemporary African values and the global literature on values.