Work represents a significant part of a person's life. At working age, people spend
much of their time divided between family, leisure and work, and the way a person
relates to work conditions family, social and economic relationships.
With the proliferation and diversification of occupations – a characteristic of
modern societies – the world of work became a personal challenge, as it is no longer
seen exclusively from the perspective of existential necessity – concerned about the
needs for security and livelihood – but to be now understood as a social phenomenon,
with an exchange value through which market's goods and services can be reached.
Thus, in contemporary society, work is perceived as something that is not
determined, but a reality that involves the whole person and develops throughout life.
Therefore, when considering how individuals relate to and value work, we
identify the values underlying the mentality that shapes a society. Based on this
principle, and according to the European Values Study, the present study intends to
analyze the value of work in Portugal in the last three decades and place the results
against the national average for the European Union.