Ronald Inglehart (1997) Modernization and Postmodernization.
Cultural, Economic and Political Change in 43 societies
Sources: World Values surveys (data from 43 societies representing 70 % of the world's population) 1981-1990 EXAMINING MASS ATTITUDES
Euro-Barometer survey (carried out annually in EU member countries) 1970-1990s
"findings suggest that the relationship between values, economics and politics are reciprocal and the exact nature of the linkages in given cases is an empirical question, rather than something to be decided a priori" (p.4.)
The design of these surveys is influenced by various theories: including the THEORY OF INTERGENERATIONAL VALUE CHANGE. = in industrialized societies as a result of rapid economic development and the expansion of the welfare state following the second world war, fundamental differences can be found between the formative experiences of the younger and the older birth cohorts.
before the second world war, crucial concern for most people: THREAT OF ECONOMIC DEPRIVATION OR EVEN STARVATION
postwar generation: experience of ECONOMIC SECURITY never known before
SHIFT from "MATERIALIST" VALUES toward "POSTMATERIALIST" VALUES from focusing on ECONOMIC and PHYSICAL SECURITY above all TOWARD focusing on SELF-EXPRESSION and the QUALITY OF LIFE
This shift is only one component of a BROADER CULTURAL CHANGE = POSTMODERNIZATION
linked with INTERGENERATIONAL POPULATION REPLACEMENT PROCESSES (gradual but continuous)
CULTURE definition (p.15.) = a system of attitudes, values, and knowledge that is widely shared within a society and is transmitted from generation to generation The more central and early learned aspects of culture are resistant to change. WHY? 1) it requires a great effort to change central elements of an adult's cognitive organization 2) abandoning one's most central beliefs produces uncertainty and anxiety CONCL.: In relation to changing socio-economic conditions central parts of culture may be transformed through intergenerational population replacement, rather than by the conversion of already socialized adults.
point of criticism: The most widespread counterinterpretation argued that the observed age differences were not a permanent part of the outlook of given birth cohorts, but simply a life-cycle difference that would fade away as the younger cohorts aged. (325-6) implication: no social change! BUT emprical results show that the predicted shift DID occure!!
in order to understand postmodernisation, let us define MODERNIZATION first. = "is, above all, a process that increases the economic capabilities of a society: it increases economic capabilities through industrialization, and political capabilities through bureaucratization. Modernization is widely attractive because it enables a society to move from being poor, to being rich." (p.5.)
CORE PROCESS: INDUSTRIALIZATION
CENTRAL GOAL OF SOCIETY: ECONOMIC GROWTH
CENTRAL INDIVIDUAL LEVEL GOAL: ACHIEVEMENT MOTIVATION
from TRADITIONAL, usually religious values (preindustrial societies) toward MODERN, rational-legal values (industrial societies) through "the pervasive rationalization of all spheres of society" (Max Weber)
MODERNIZATION was once an immensely infuental concept, but it went out of fashion in the 1970s. (p.324.) Still important, BUT it is not the final stage of history!
COMPONENTS of 'POSTMODERNIZATION' (22): relative importance of culture seems to be increasing (there is still an external reality out there BUT culture has a tremendous influence on how reality is perceived) economic rationality determines human behavior less narrowly than before the great religious and ideological metanarratives are losing their authority (the uniformity and hierarchy that characterized modernity are giving way to an increasing acceptance of diversity) the dominance of instrumental rationality is giving way to a greater emphasis on value rationality and quality of life concerns
THREE VERSIONS OF POSTMODERN (23)
1. = the rejection of modernity = of rationality, authority, technology, and science = of Westernization
2. = the revalorization of tradition (contrasting MODERNIZATION that drastically devalued tradition)
3. = the rise of new values and lifestyles, with greater tolerance for ethnic, cultural, and sexual diversity; and individual choice concerning the kind of life one wants to lead
1) REJECTION of MODERNIZATION
Previous shift from a world - characterized by warm, personal ties - in which the meaning of life is clear to an impersonal, competitive society (main features: individual achievement, industralization). Main + : INCREASING HUMAN PRODUCTIVITY BUT various negative sides: - Marx: inhuman working conditions, psychological costs - Weber: disenchanting the world; forcing humanity into the iron cage of bureaucracy and mass production; the rationality of immediate means was driving out the rationality of ultimate ends - Heidegger, Horkheimer, Adorno: this instrumental rationality had undermined any absolute moral standards ('both God and Marx are dead'; moral rules are myths created by the ruling elites!) and given rise to new forms of irrationality and repression (Hitler, Stalin)
Today: a growing segment of society is concluding that THE PRICE IS TOO HIGH, and the relative priority of rationality, authority, science and technology is declining among mass publics.
2) REVALORIZATION OF TRADITION
former (modern) equation: NEW = GOOD lost its prestige! Tradition (especially non- Western tradition) starts to regain its status and positive value. BUT selective revalorization! (women's social role; prohibition of extramarital sex)
3) NEW VALUES AND LIFESTYLES
shift from 'materialist' to 'postmaterialist' value priorities
HABERMAS' CRITIQUE of MODERNITY (opposing postmodernists acc. to whom modernization was simply a bad choice) Modernity imposed high costs but it also brought major benefits. Modernity is an unfinished project (we should built on it rather than reject it). Industralization provided more than just noisy polluting automobiles and mindless television sitcoms. Two major positive points: greatly increased chances for survival (as measured by human life expectency) produced higher levels of subjective well-being. Habermas' proposal: NEW VERSION OF THE SOCIAL CONTRACT = a rational basis for collective life can be achieved only when social relations organized so that the validity of every norm depends on a consensus arrived at in communication free from domination
MAIN FEATURES OF THE POSTMODERN SHIFT (28)
emphasis on economic achievement emphasis on the quality of life
disciplined, self-denying, and achievement oriented norms of industrial society a broader latitude for individual choice of lifestyles and individual self- expression
politics of class conflict political conflict based on issues as environmental protection, status of women, of sexual minorities
SURVIVAL IS PRECARIOUS SURVIVAL CAN BE TAKEN FOR GRANTED decline in the prevailing sense of vulnerability; one's fate is no longer so heavily influenced by unpredictable forces; less emphasis on traditional cultural norms, esp. those which limit individual self-expression
POSTMATERIALIST ? non- or anti-MATERIALIST!
BUT= denoting a set of goals that are emphasized AFTER people have attained marterial security and because they have attained material security. (35) = CHANGE OF PRIORITIES: still + value on economic and physical security BUT even higher priority to self-expression and quality of life (the collapse of material security would lead back to materialist priorities!)
CONCEPT OF RISK SOCIETY (Beck, 1992)
Industrial society: distributional conflicts over 'GOODS' (property, income, jobs) Risk society: distributional conflicts over 'BADS' (risks of nuclear technology, genetic research, the threat to the environment) SHIFT from daily uncertainty concerning survival to more remote concerns like ecological crisis -- "people probably worry as much as ever but they worry about different things" (37) personal survival --- global warming
SURVIVAL VALUES; WELL-BEING VALUES
2 FACTORS contributing to the decline of traditional political, religious, social and
sexual norms in advanced industrial societies:
1) INCREASING SENSE OF SECURITY brings a DIMINISHING NEED FOR ABSOLUTE RULES --- ability to tolerate more ambiguity, accept deviation from familiar patterns
2) societal and religious norms usually have a FUNCTION (adultery, respect for parents - -- maintaining the family unit) BUT some of these functions decreased (less crucial role of the family: work, education, old people --- welfare state!) Thus: Postmaterialists + young people: more tolerance toward homosexuality, more permissive attitudes toward abortion, divorce, extramarital affairs, prostitution, euthanasia. (TABLE: p.43.)
the shift toward postmodern values: predicted and observed changes 1981-1990
All values that are linked with Postmaterialism will become more widespread over time. ? 2 sets of factors influencing the rate of shift toward Postmaterialist values:
1) long-term component, based on INTERGENERATIONAL VALUE CHANGE 2) short-term component, reflecting CURRENT CONDITIONS
43 countries, two extremes: 1) South Africa (few Postmaterialists; relatively little difference between the values of young and old, so intergenerational population replacement would not bring much change); 2) Nordic states + the Netherlands (many Postmaterialists; values are strongly correlated with age). IN BETWEEN: Western- European countries + North-America (seem to show relatively large amount of change); East Asia (not too many Postmaterialists but intergenerational differences are relatively large)
1) 40 variables (mean correlation of at least 0.125 with Postmaterialism in 1981) 2) variables included in both surveys = 40 variables in 21 countries; 802 tests
Examples: Materialists are almost twice as likely to be intolerant of both homosexuality and abortion as are Postmaterialists, and much likelier to believe that a woman needs children in order to be fulfilled; but they are only half as likely as Postmaterialists to say that God is not important in their lives.(270)
any attitude that have a reasonably strong correlation with Materialist/Postmaterialist values will move in a specified direction --- the predictions will not always be confirmed: the impact of short-term economic, political, social events can be superimposed on the long-term trends BACKGROUND:
according to theories used here, these trends CAUSED by INTERGENERATIONAL CHANGES IN PERCEIVED SECURITY --- expectation: these trends are found in any society that has experienced rising prosperity in recent decades