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Cultural Transition of Human Values

  • Individuals born within one generation are assumed to share a common identity resulting in similar personal values throughout their impressionable pre-adult years. Specific political, economic, social, technological, ecological, and legal conditions leading to common experiences characterize these pre-adult years. The resulting beliefs and values are perceived to remain relatively stable throughout human lifetimes. Simultaneously, social and technical changes in the last decades turned out to be exponentially proportional to the rate at which humans exchange information. Humans increasingly experience rapidly changing living conditions, which holds for regions with a high net inward migration. This confrontation raises the question of the extent to which personal values are changed by experiencing rapid modernization after the impressionable pre-adult years. Our results are the first longitudinal evidence for an accelerated shift towards post-materialism associated with migration from East to West Germany. The duration until a transition to post-materialism is shorter for East–West Movers compared to East Stayers. We find the confrontation with more available social capital and related social norms to result in leaps in post-materialism on an individual level. Consequently, drastic changes in living conditions can be assumed to alter an individual’s value orientation.

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Document Type:Part of a Book
Author:Eric Holdack, Rico Bornschein, Silko Pfeil
Chairs and Professorships:Chair of Marketing Management and Sustainability
Parent Title (English):Social Capital and Subjective Well-Being
Place of publication:Cham
Year of Completion:2021
First Page:77
Last Page:94
Tag:Economics of happiness; European social survey; European values study; Social capital; Subjective well-being; World value survey
Content Focus:Academic Audience
Licence (German):License LogoUrheberrechtlich geschützt