The Rhythm of Modernization, Raül Tormos analyses the pace at which belief systems change across the developed world during the modernization process. It is often assumed that value change follows the slow rhythm of generational replacement. This book, however, reports trends that contradict this assumption in the field of values. Challenging Inglehart’s modernization theory, the transition from traditional to modern values happens much quicker than predicted. Many “baby-boomers” who were church-going, morally conservative materialists when they were young, become unchurched and morally tolerant postmaterialists in their later years. Using surveys from multiple countries over many years, and applying cutting-edge statistical techniques, this book shows how citizens quickly adapt their belief systems to new circumstances throughout their lives.
In sharp contrast to the popular belief that values are converging and becoming increasingly standardized, this book draws on the EVS surveys to show that Europe remains very diverse in terms of values orientations toward the major issues of everyday life. It also addresses how and in what direction values are actually changing, thus emphasizing the joint influence of key factors like secularization, economic development, the rise in educational attainment levels and the welfare state. Written by the team of political scientists and sociologists who are carrying out the EVS surveys in France, this books leads to the striking conclusion that increasingly individualized value systems do not necessarily mirror a more individualistic society.