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Mariela Baeva
Mariela Baeva
Member of the European Parliament for Bulgaria
2007 - 2009
(first direct EP elections in Bulgaria);

LEED to OECD partner (Nanotech)

Charter 4 Mobile

Charter 4 mobile

Anyone interested in fundamental rights in the European Union (EU) can now have easy access to the text of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights in all official languages on their mobile device: http://fra.europa.eu/en/charter4mobile



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World Values Survey

The World Values Survey takes a slightly more political tack by examining the ways in which religious views, identity, or individual beliefs correspond to larger phenomena such as democracy and economic development. Using World Values Survey results, the American political scientist Ronald Inglehart found that democratic institutions develop and endure only in societies that emphasize what he called “self-expression values,” including individual autonomy, tolerance, trust, and political activism. This value orientation is also known as postmaterialism**.

Postmaterialists give top priority to such goals as environmental protection, freedom of speech, and gender equality. The shift from materialist values such as economic growth, particularly among citizens living in Western countries, reflected a change from an environment in which one was aware that survival was precarious to a post-World War II world where most felt that survival could be taken for granted. Age cohorts born after World War II in advanced industrial societies spent their formative years under levels of prosperity that were unprecedented in human history, and the welfare state reinforced the feeling that survival was secure, producing an intergenerational value change that has gradually transformed the political and cultural norms of these societies.

This theory of intergenerational value change has two key hypotheses: (1) that an individual’s priorities reflect the socioeconomic environment, with individuals placing the greatest subjective value on those things that are in relatively short supply, and (2) that the relationship between socioeconomic environment and value priorities involves a substantial time lag because one’s basic values reflect the conditions that prevailed during one’s preadult years.

Postmaterialism itself is only one aspect of a still broader process of cultural change that has reshaped the political outlook, religious orientations, gender roles, and sexual mores of advanced industrial society.

Postmodern*** orientations place less emphasis on traditional cultural norms, especially those that limit individual self-expression. A major component of the postmodern shift is a move away from both religious and bureaucratic authority, bringing declining emphasis on all kinds of authority. Deference to authority has high costs, as individuals must subordinate their personal goals to those of a broader entity; under conditions of insecurity, however, people are more than willing to do so. Under threat of invasion, internal disorder, or economic collapse, people eagerly seek strong authority figures who can protect them.

There is also a gradual shift in job motivations, from maximizing one’s income and job security toward a growing insistence on interesting and meaningful work. Economic accumulation for the sake of economic security was the central goal of industrial society. Ironically, their attainment set in motion a process of gradual cultural change that has made these goals less central, bringing about a rejection of the hierarchical institutions that helped attain them.

 

*Excerpts from an opinion research of Encyclopædia Britannica

**The term postmaterialism was first coined by American social scientist Ronald Inglehart in The Silent Revolution: Changing Values and Political Styles Among Western Publics (1977).

***Postmodernism – a late 20th-century movement characterized by broad skepticism, subjectivism, or relativism; a general suspicion of reason; and an acute sensitivity to the role of ideology in asserting and maintaining political and economic power.

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