The Persistence of Materialist and Post-Materialist Value Orientations

Jan W. van Deth

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The theory of the Silent Revolution relates value change to the process of population replacement. Materialist and post-materialist values are seen as reflections of the conditions that prevailed during one's pre-adult years. This assumption is tested here by analysing a Dutch panel, questioned in 1974 and in 1970. The change actually found at the individual level is not in line with the predictions of the theory and leads to a dilemma. The first option implies a rejection of the socialization hypothesis - one of the cornerstones of the theory. The second option places considerable doubts on the reliability of the instrument. Moreover, the validity of the instrument seems to be questionable too. The remarkably similar marginal distribution of the materialist and post-materialist value types in both years, accompanied by massive shifts between the types, points into the direction of political attitudes and non-attitudes instead of basic orientations or basic outlooks.
Original languageUndefined
Pages (from-to)63-79
JournalEuropean journal of political research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1983
Externally publishedYes


  • IR-58448

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