Values are a hot topic in Europe, both in the public and political debate as well as in the social sciences. Is Europe a community of values? What are the cultural borders of the European Union? How united are Europeans with respect to their fundamental values? How does globalization affect European values? Do national values vanish?
There is also a clear moral overtone in the debate: basic values are believed to erode, community values are waning, values become fragmented, and civic engagement is rapidly declining while hedonism and consumerism are prevailing. But are these far-reaching assumptions true? Answers are provided in this book.
The three core issues that guide the various chapters in this book are the following: do basic values in European countries converge or diverge? Do we observe a marked decline in traditional values in European societies? Is it the youngest generation in Europe that embraces new values?
Peter Ester is Professor of Sociology and Director of the Institute for Labour Studies (OSA) at Tilburg University and visiting fellow at ZUMA, Mannheim. He has published extensively on cross-national and intergenerational trends in attitudes and values, with a special interest in changing cultural values and work orientations.
Michael Braun works as a Senior Researcher and Methods Consultant at ZUMA, Mannheim. He has specialized in cross-cultural survey methodology and analysis. He has published widely on international comparative research in the fields of inequality, work orientations, and the family.
Peter Ph. Mohler is Director of ZUMA, Mannheim, and Professor at the University of Mannheim. His major fields of interest are comparative survey methodology and computer-assisted text analysis. His most recent publications have been on comparative research, background demographics, survey documentation, and content analysis.