Value Systems in Axial Moments - A Comparative Analysis of 24 European Countries
Title: Value Systems in Axial Moments - A Comparative Analysis of 24 European Countries
Citation: European Sociological Review, 1998, 14, 3, 211-229
The aim of this paper is to develop and test a new theoretical framework for value sociology. The theoretical section, based on the works of Max Weber, argues that the value system is composed of several layers, each carrying the 'stamp' of different 'axial moments': periods in which the dissolution of political order and the ordering codes of daily life led to the emergence of systems of belief that shifted the locus of order to individuals. In the empirical section, by building bridges between the Rokeach value test and the World Values Survey on the basis of data gathered in four national representative surveys done in Hungary between 1978 and 1993, the article demonstrates, using cluster analysis, discriminant analysis, and LVPLS modelling, that differences in the way social background factors influence value preferences at the individual level among 24 East and West European countries are due not sp much to modernizational or economic variables at the country level, or to the relative degree of liberalization under communism, but to the stamps of axial moments like Protestantism, the Enlightenment and the different versions of socialism. The results also give a strong indication that the contemporary situation indeed bears signs of another axial moment.
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