Patterns in values differences across cultures
Three models of values difference across societies are discussed. Strauss and Howe argue that values follow an eighty year generational cycle. Huntington and Inglehart argue for differences from culture membership in eight global cultures. Inglehart further argues for a pattern of values change as a function of GDP/capita which he calls "modernization." This study evaluates these models across sixty-three societies and twenty-four variables from the World Values Survey composed into eight factors. The analysis shows evidence of cyclical values patterns among the more economically advanced societies like Northern Europe. The data do not support an unequivocal eighty year cycle. Differences between generational cohorts tend to disappear with declining GDP/capita. In poorer cultures, values indices are significantly the same among half or more of the oldest cohorts for some or all of the factor indices. Further, with declining GDP/capita, fewer of the indices show cyclical differences across generations. Only on Politics and Postmodern (work ethic) indices do cyclical generational differences persist among the poorer cultures. There is a progressive pattern of emerging values differences with rising GDP/capita. Differences among cultures appear to be both real and coherent. Across cultures there are few common levels of belief on values indices. That is, cultures are distinct. Within most cultures, more than half the included societies are significantly the same on at least two of the values indices. In some cases, like the English speaking cultural zone, all countries in a group are significantly similar on some values indices. These data tend to support the Inglehart model with separate English speaking, Northern European, Catholic European and Latin American zones rather than Huntington's model of a single Western culture. However, Huntington's contentions that Japan and China form distinct cultures and that there is no distinct African culture are both supported. GDP/capita effects do not account for differences among countries that are separated by large economic gaps. General differences among cultures remain after economic effects are removed. Japan and China remain distinct on all values scales after economic effects are partialed out.
|Year of publication:||
Wayne State University
|Type of publication:||Other|
ETD Collection for Wayne State University
Saved in favorites
Similar items by subject
Find similar items by using search terms and synonyms from our Thesaurus for Economics (STW).