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Cultural Evolution: People’s Motivations are Changing, and Reshaping the World

Cultural Evolution: People’s Motivations are Changing, and Reshaping the World PDF

Author: Ronald F. Inglehart

Publisher: Cambridge University Press


Publish Date: March 22, 2018

ISBN-10: 1108489311

Pages: 288

File Type: PDF

Language: English

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Book Preface

This book draws on co- authored work with Paul Abramson,
Wayne Baker, Roberto Foa, Ronald Charles Inglehart, Pippa Norris,
Christopher Peterson, Eduard Ponarin, Jacques Rabier and Christian
Welzel. I am deeply indebted to these friends, colleagues and my son,
and express my warmest thanks. They are, in effect, co- authors of
this book.

I also express my gratitude to the people who made this book possible by carrying out the World Values Survey (WVS) and the European
Values Surveys (EVS) in over one hundred countries, from 1981 to
2014. Thanks to the following WVS and EVS Principal Investigators for
creating and sharing this rich and complex dataset: Anthony M. Abela,
Suzanne Adams, Q.K. Ahmad, Salvatore Abbruzzese, Abdel- Hamid
Abdel- Latif, Marchella Abrasheva, Mohammen Addahri, Alisher
Aldashev, Darwish Abdulrahman Al- Emadi, Fathi Ali, Abdulrazaq Ali,
Rasa Alishauskene, Helmut Anheier, Jose Arocena, Wil A. Art, Soo
Young Auh, Taghi Azadarmaki, Ljiljana Bacevic, Olga Balakireva, Josip
Baloban, David Barker, Miguel Basanez, Elena Bashkirova, Abdallah
Bedaida, Jorge Benitez, Jaak Billiet, Alan Black, Eduard Bomhoff,
Ammar Boukhedir, Rahma Bourquia, Fares al Braizat, Lori BramwellJones, Michael Breen, Ziva Broder, Thawilwadee Bureekul, Karin
Bush, Harold Caballeros, Manuel Villaverde, Richard Bachia- Caruana,
Claudio Calvaruso, Pavel Campeaunu, Augustin Canzani, Giuseppe
Capraro, Marita Carballo, Andres Casas, Henrique Carlos de O. de
Castro, Pi- Chao Chen, Pradeep Chhibber, Mark F. Chingono, Heiyuan Chiu, Vincent Chua, Margit Cleveland, Mircea Comsa, Munqith
Dagher, Andrew P. Davidson, Herman De Dijn, Ruud de Moor, Pierre
Delooz, Peter J.D. Derenth, Abdel Nasser Djabi, Karel Dobbelaere,
Hermann Duelmer, Javier Elzo, Yilmaz Esmer, Paul Estgen, Tony Fahey,
Nadjematul Faizah, Tair Faradov, Roberto Stefan Foa, Michael Fogarty,
Georgy Fotev, Juis de Franca, Aikaterini Gari, Ilir Gedeshi, James
Georgas, C. Geppaart, Bilai Gilani, Mark Gill, Stjepan Gredlj, Renzo
Gubert, Linda Luz Guerrero, Peter Gundelach, David Sulmont Haak,
Christian Haerpfer, Abdelwahab Ben Hafaiedh, Jacques Hagenaars,
Loek Halman, Mustafa Hamarneh, Tracy Hammond, Sang- Jin Han,
Elemer Hankiss, Olafur Haraldsson, Stephen Harding, Mari Harris,
Pierre Hausman, Bernadette C. Hayes, Gordon Heald, Camilo Herrera,
Felix Heunks, Virginia Hodgkinson, Nadra Muhammed Hosen, Joan
Rafel Mico Ibanez, Kenji Iijima, Fr. Joe Inganuez, Ljubov Ishimova,
Wolfgang Jagodzinski, Meril James, Aleksandra Jasinska- Kania,
Fridrik Jonsson, Dominique Joye, Stanislovas Juknevicius, Salue
Kalikova, Tatiana Karabchuk, Kieran Kennedy, Jan Kerkhofs S.J., J.F.
Kielty, Johann Kinghorn, Hans- Dieter Kilngemann, Renate Kocher,
Joanna Konieczna, Hennie Kotze, Hanspeter Kriesi, Miori Kurimura,
Zuzana Kus á , Marta Lagos, Bernard Lategan, Michel Legrand, Carlos
Lemoine, Noah Lewin- Epstein, Juan Linz, Ola Listhaug, Jin- yun Liu,
Leila Lotti, Ruud Lijkx, Susanne Lundasen, Brina Malnar, Heghine
Manasyan, Robert Manchin, Mahar Mangahas, Mario Marinov,
Mira Marody, Carlos Matheus, Robert Mattes, Ian McAllister, Rafael
Mendizabal, Jon Miller, Felipe Miranda, Mansoor Moaddel, Mustapha
Mohammed, Jose Molina, Alejandro Moreno, Gaspar K. Munishi,
Naasson Munyandamutsa, Kostas Mylonas, Neil Nevitte, Chun Hung
Ng, Simplice Ngampou, Juan Diez Nicolas, Jaime Medrano Nicolas,
Elisabeth Noelle- Neumann, Pippa Norris, Elone Nwabuzor, Stephen
Olafsson, Francisco.Andres Orizo, Magued Osman, Merab Pachulia,
Christina Paez, Alua Pankhurst, Dragomir Pantic, Juhani Pehkonen,
Paul Perry, E. Petersen, Antoanela Petkovska, Doru Petruti, Thorleif
Pettersson, Pham Minh Hac, Pham Thanh Nghi, Timothy Phillips,
Gevork Pogosian, Eduard Ponarin, Lucien Pop, Bi Puranen, Ladislav
Rabusic, Andrei Raichev, Alice Ramos, Anu Realo, Jan Rehak, Helene
Riffault, Ole Riis, Angel Rivera- Ortiz, Nils Rohme, Catalina Romero,
Gergely Rosta, David Rotman, Victor Roudometof, Giancario Rovati,
Samir Abu Ruman, Andrus Saar, Rajab Sattarov, Rahmat Seigh, Tan Ern
Ser, Sandeep Shastri, Shen Mingming, Musa Shteivi, Renata Siemienska,
Maria Silvestre Cabrera, Richard Sinnott, Alan Smith, Jean Stoetzel,
Kancho Stoichev, Marin Stoychev, John Sudarsky, Edward Sullivan,
Marc Swyngedouw, Tang Ching- Ping, Farooq Tanwir, Jean- Francois
Tchernia, Kareem Tejumola, Noel Timms, Larissa Titarenko, Miklos
Tomka, Alfredo Torres, Niko Tos, Istvan Gyorgy Toth, Joseph Troisi,
Tu Su- hao, Claudiu Tufi s, Jorge Vala, Andrei Vardomatskii, David Voas,
Bogdan Voicu, Malina Voicu, Liliane Voye, Richard M. Walker, Alan
Webster, Friedrich Welsch, Christian Welzel, Meidam Wester, Chris
Whelan, Robert Worcester, Seiko Yamazaki, Birol Yesilada, Ephraim
Yuchtman- Yaar, Josefi na Zaiter, Catalin Zamfi r, Brigita Zepa, Ignacio
Zuasnabar and Paul Zulehner.

The WVS and EVS data used in this book consists of 358 surveys carried out in successive waves from 1981 to 2014 in 105 countries containing over 90 percent of the world’s population. This book
also uses data from the Euro- Barometer surveys launched by JacquesRene Rabier in 1970; the Euro- Barometer surveys served as a model
for the EVS, the WVS and numerous other cross- national surveys, and
were the source of key items used in the Values Surveys. Jan Kerkhofs
and Ruud de Moor organized the European Values Study and invited
me to organize similar surveys in other parts of the world, which led to
founding the World Values Survey. Jaime Diez Medrano archived both
the WVS and the EVS datasets and made them available to hundreds of
thousands of users, who have analyzed and downloaded the data from
the WVS and EVS websites.

I am grateful to Jon Miller, William Zimmerman, Arthur Lupia,
Kenneth Kollman and other colleagues at the University of Michigan
for comments and suggestions. I am also grateful to Anna Cotter and
Yujeong Yang for superb research assistance and gratefully acknowledge support from the US National Science Foundation, and the foreign
ministries of Sweden and The Netherlands, each of which supported
fi eldwork in several countries in various waves of the World Values
Survey. I also thank the Russian Ministry of Education and Science for
a grant that made it possible to found the Laboratory for Comparative
Social Research at the Higher School of Economics in Moscow and St.
Petersburg, and to carry out the World Values Survey in Russia and
eight other Soviet successor countries in 2011. This study was funded
by the Russian Academic Excellence Project “5– 100.” The University
of Michigan’s Amy and Alan Loewenstein professorship in Democracy
and Human Rights, which I am grateful to hold, provided valuable
research assistance for this work.


People’s values and behavior are shaped by the degree to which survival
is secure. For most of the time since humans fi rst appeared, survival
has been precarious. This dominated people’s life strategies. Population
rose to meet the food supply, and most people lived just above the
starvation level. When survival is insecure, people tend to close ranks
behind a strong leader, forming a united front against outsiders –a
strategy that can be called the Authoritarian Refl ex .

In the decades following World War II, something unprecedented occurred in economically advanced countries: much of the postwar generation grew up taking survival for granted. This refl ected (1) the
unprecedented economic growth of the postwar era in Western Europe,
North America, Japan and Australi a; (2) the emergence of welfare state
safety nets that guaranteed that almost no one died of starvation; and
(3) the absence of war between major powers: since World War II, the
world has experienced the longest such period in recorded history.
Unprecedentedly high levels of economic and physical security
led to pervasive intergenerational cultural change s that reshaped the
values and worldviews of these publics, bringing a shift from Materialist
to Postmaterialist values –which was part of an even broader shift
from Survival value s to Self- expression values. This broad cultural shift
moves from giving top priority to economic and physical safety and
conformity to group norms, toward increasing emphasis on individual
freedom to choose how to live one’s life. Self- expression values emphasize gender equality , tolerance of gays, lesbians, foreigners and other
outgroups, freedom of expression and participation in decision- making in economic and political life. This cultural shift brought massive social and political changes, from stronger environmental protection policies
and anti- war movements, to higher levels of gender equality in government, business and academic life, and the spread of democracy .
Long before this happened, substantial cross- cultural difference already existed that can be traced to geographically shaped differences in vulnerability to disease and hunger. Various analysts, working
from different perspectives, have described these cultural differences
as Collectivismversus Individualism, Survival versus Self- expression
values, or Autonomy versus Embeddedness, but they all tap a common
dimension of cross- cultural variation that refl ects a society’s level of
“existential security” –the degree to which survival seems safe or insecure. During the decades since World War II, growing existential security has been propelling most of the world’s societies toward greater
emphasis on Individualism, Autonomy and Self- expression values.
Countries that rank high on Self- expression values are much
likelier to adopt legislation favorable to gays and lesbians than societies that emphasize Survival value s. They also tend to rank high on the
UN Gender Empowerment Measure, which refl ects the extent to which
women hold high positions in political, economic and academic life.
Survey data demonstrate that the underlying norms have been changing for fi fty years, while these societal changes are relatively recent. The
cultural changes preceded the institutional changes and seem to have
contributed to them.

High levels of existential security are also conducive to secularization –a systematic erosion of religious practices, values and beliefs.
Secularization has spread among the publics of virtually all advanced
industrial societies during the past fi fty years. Nevertheless, the world
as a whole now has more people with traditional religious views than
ever before, because secularization has a strong negative impact on
human fertility rate s. Practically all of the countries in which secularization is most advanced now have fertility rates far below the replacement level – while many societies with traditional religious orientations
have fertility rates two or three times as high as the replacement level.
Mass attitudes toward both gender equality and homosexuality have been changing in a two- stage process. The fi rst phase was
a gradual shift toward greater tolerance of gays and greater support
for gender equality, which took place as younger generations replaced
older ones. Eventually, this reached a threshold at which the new norms
were seen as dominant in high- income societies. Conformist pressures then reversed polarity and began to support changes they had
formerly opposed, bringing much more rapid cultural changes than
those produced by population replacement. By 2015, a majority of the
US Supreme Court supported same- sex marriage : even elderly judges
wanted to be on the right side of history.

This “feminization” of cultural norms in developed societies
has also contributed to declining rates of violence and declining willingness to fi ght for one’s country. Moreover, countries that have high levels of Self- expression values are much likelier to be genuine democracies
than countries that rank low on these values. But do Self- expression
values lead to democracy, or does democracy cause Self- expression
values to emerge? The causal fl ow seems to move mainly from Selfexpression values to democracy. Democratic institutions do not need
to be in place for Self- expression values to emerge. In the years preceding the massive global wave of democratizationthat occurred around
1990, Self- expression values had emerged through a gradual process of
intergenerational value change , not only in Western democraciesbut
also in many authoritarian societies. Accordingly, once the threat of
Soviet military intervention was withdrawn, countries with high levels
of Self- expression values moved swiftly toward democracy.
Cultural change refl ects changing strategies to maximize human
happiness. In agrarian societieswith little or no economic development
or social mobility, religion makes people happier by lowering their
aspirations in this life, and promising that they will be rewarded in an
afterlife. But modernization brings economic development, democratization and growing social tolerance –which are conducive to happiness because they give people more freedom of choicein how to live
their lives. Consequently, although within most countries religious people are happier than less- religious people, the people of modernized
but secular countries are happier than the people of less- modernized
but highly religious countries. Thus, though religion is conducive to
happiness under pre- modern conditions, once high levels of economic
development become possible, the modern strategy can be even more
effective than the traditional strategy as a way to maximize happiness.
But can human happiness be maximized? Until recently, it was
widely held that happiness fl uctuates around fi xed set- points (possibly
determined by genetic factors) so that neither individuals nor societies can lastingly increase their happiness. That claim is not true, as
this book demonstrates. From 1981 to 2011 happiness rose in 52 of
the 62 countries for which substantial time- series data were available,
and fell in only 10; during the same period, life satisfactionrose in
40 countries and fell in only 19 (3 showed no change). The two most
widely used indicators of happiness rose in an overwhelming majority
of countries. Why?

List of Figurespage ix
List of Tables xiv
Acknowledgments xv
Introduction: An Overview of This Book 1
1 Evolutionary Modernization and Cultural Change 8
2 The Rise of Postmaterialist Values in the West and the
World 25
3 Global Cultural Patterns 36
4 The End of Secularization? 60
5 Cultural Change, Slow and Fast: The Distinctive Trajectory
of Norms Governing Gender Equality and Sexual
Orientation 77
6 The Feminization of Society and Declining Willingness to
Fight for One’s Country: The Individual- Level Component of
the Long Peace 102
7 Development and Democracy 114
8 The Changing Roots of Happiness 140
9 The Silent Revolution in Reverse: The Rise of Trump and the
Authoritarian Populist Parties 173
10 The Coming of Artifi cial Intelligence Society 200
Appendices 217
Notes 231
References 252
Index 270

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