The Cultural Diversity of European Unity: Findings, Explanations and Reflections from the European Values Study

The Cultural Diversity of European Unity: Findings, Explanations and Reflections from the European Values Study

The Cultural Diversity of European Unity: Findings, Explanations and Reflections from the European Values Study

The Cultural Diversity of European Unity: Findings, Explanations and Reflections from the European Values Study

Synopsis

This volume deals with the values of the people in contemporary Europe. Using the survey data from the European Values Study, a number of basic values and the dynamics of value change are explored from an economic, political, social, and religious-moral point of view.

Part 1 focuses on Europe's values from an empirical-analytical, and a historical point of view, and also presents the views of three eminent Europeans.

Part 2 deals with in-depths analyses of European values, based on the empirical data set covering basic orientations in most of the domains of human life.

Part 3 contains reflections on the empirical findings, the value of value research, the hidden assumptions behind it, and the deeper layers of Europe's position and developments.

Excerpt

This book is the sixth volume in a series on European values published by Brill Academic Publishers. The main purpose of this series is to present and distribute the main findings from the European Values Study (EVS), a large-scale cross-national and longitudinal research project on fundamental values in Western societies. The project was initiated by Jan Kerkhofs of the Catholic University of Leuven (Belgium) and Ruud de Moor of Tilburg University (the Netherlands). At the end of the 1970s, they established the European Value Systems Study Group (EVSSG), a small group of mainly social and political scientists, aiming at empirically investigating the main fundamental value patterns of the Europeans. The group succeeded in conducting a large-scale survey in countries of the European Community (EC) plus Spain, in 1981. The study aroused interest in many other European as well as non-European countries, where colleagues and research institutions joined the project and applied the original EVS questionnaire. In this way, comparable surveys became available also outside Western Europe. Apart from a large series of books on the findings for individual countries, several crossnational comparative studies were published by, e.g., Jean Stoetzel (1983), Les Valeurs du Temps Présent: Une Enquête Européenne, Paris: Presses Universitaires de France; Stephen Harding, David Phillips with Michael Fogarty (1986), Contrasting Values in Western Europe: Unity, Diversity and Change, London: MacMillan; and Loek Halman, Felix Heunks, Ruud de Moor and Harry Zanders (1987), Traditie, Secularisatie en Individualisering, Tilburg: Tilburg University Press.

In order to investigate changes in values, a replication study was necessary. A second wave of surveys was fielded in 1990 again in all EC countries (minus Greece), as well as in Scandinavia, some Eastern European countries and several countries outside Europe. Ronald Inglehart from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, has been very active and successful in getting the survey fielded in the early and mid nineties in countries inside and outside Europe other than those participating in the European Values Study (EVS). This worldwide project is called the World Values Surveys (WVS).

For results and more information on the EVS 1990 study, we can refer to many publications, for instance, David Barker, Loek Halman and Astrid Vloet (1992), The European Values Study 1981 1990 Summary Report, London: Gordon Cook Foundation; Sheena Ashford and Noel . . .

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