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Post-Materialism in an Environment of Insecurity

Ronald Inglehart
The American Political Science Review
Vol. 75, No. 4 (Dec., 1981), pp. 880-900
DOI: 10.2307/1962290
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1962290
Page Count: 21
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Post-Materialism in an Environment of Insecurity
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Abstract

This article tests the hypothesis that postwar affluence led to an integenerational shift from Materialist to Post-Materialist values among Western publics, and analyzes the consequences of the economic uncertainty prevailing since 1973. The young emphasize Post-Materialist values more than the old. Time-series data indicate that this reflects generational change far more than aging effects, but that the recession of the mid-1970s also produced significant period effects. As Post-Materialists aged, they moved out of the student ghetto and became a predominant influence among young technocrats, contributing to the rise of a @`New Class.@' They furnish the ideologues and core support for the environmental, zero-growth and antinuclear movements; and their opposition to those who give top priority to reindustrialization and rearmament constitutes a distinctive and persisting dimension of political cleavage.

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