Sunday, July 29, 2018


Inglehart’s (1997) theory of intergenerational values
change is based on two hypotheses: the socialization
hypothesis and the scarcity hypothesis. The socialization
hypothesis proposes that adults’ basic values reflect the
socioeconomic conditions of one’s childhood and adolescence.
Longitudinal research has shown that this value
orientation remains relatively stable throughout one’s
lifetime (Inglehart 1997, Lubinski et al. 1996, Meglino
and Ravlin 1998, Sears 1981). Although societal conditions
can change the relative importance a generation
attributes to various personal values, these are only temporary
shifts with generations’ value orientations returning
to previous levels once stability is regained (Inglehart

Inglehart’s scarcity hypothesis proposes that the greatest
subjective value is placed on those socioeconomic
environmental aspects that are in short supply during a
generation’s youth. Thus, generations growing up during
periods of socioeconomic and physical insecurity (e.g.,
social upheaval, war, economic distress) learn modernist
survival values (e.g., economic determinism, rationality,
materialism, conformity, and respect for authority).
Alternatively, generations growing up during periods of
socioeconomic security learn postmodernist values (e.g.,
egalitarianism, individualism, interpersonal trust, tolerance
of diversity, self-transcendence).

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