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This book presents a revised version of modernisation theory.
This book demonstrates that people's basic values and beliefs are changing, in ways that affect their political, sexual, economic, and religious behaviour. These changes are roughly predictable: to a large extent, they can be interpreted on the basis of a revised version of modernisation theory presented here. Drawing on a massive body of evidence from societies containing 85 percent of the world's population, the authors demonstrate that modernisation is a process of human development, in which economic development gives rise to cultural changes that make individual autonomy, gender equality, and democracy increasingly likely. The authors present a model of social change that predicts how the value systems play a crucial role in the emergence and flourishing of democratic institutions - and that modernisation brings coherent cultural changes that are conducive to democratisation.
Economic, technological, and sociopolitical changes have been transforming the cultures of advanced industrial societies in profoundly important ways during the past few decades. This ambitious work examines changes in religious beliefs, in motives for work, in the issues that give rise to political conflict, in the importance people attach to having children and families, and in attitudes toward divorce, abortion, and homosexuality. Ronald Inglehart's earlier book, The Silent Revolution (Princeton, 1977), broke new ground by discovering a major intergenerational shift in the values of the populations of advanced industrial societies. This new volume demonstrates that this value shift is part of a much broader process of cultural change that is gradually transforming political, economic, and social life in these societies. Inglehart uses a massive body of time-series survey data from twenty-six nations, gathered from 1970 through 1988, to analyze the cultural changes that are occurring as younger generations gradually replace older ones in the adult population. These changes have far-reaching political implications, and they seem to be transforming the economic growth rates of societies and the kind of economic development that is pursued.
Once a society embarks on industrialization, a whole syndrome of related changes, from mass mobilization to dimishing differences in gender roles, usually appear. Postmodern values then bring even more societal changes, including democratic institutions and the decline of state socialist regimes. In support of these statements, this book draws on the World Values Surveys, a unique statistical database. 95 line illus. 30 tables.
This book presents a comprehensive theory of why human freedom gave way to increasing oppression since the invention of states - and why this trend began to reverse itself more recently, leading to a rapid expansion of universal freedoms and democracy. Drawing on a massive body of evidence, the author tests various explanations of the rise of freedom, providing convincing support of a well-reasoned theory of emancipation. The study demonstrates multiple trends toward human empowerment, which converge to give people control over their lives. Most important among these trends is the spread of 'emancipative values', which emphasize free choice and equal opportunities. The author identifies the desire for emancipation as the origin of the human empowerment trend and shows when and why this desire grows strong; why it is the source of democracy; and how it vitalizes civil society, feeds humanitarian norms, enhances happiness, and helps redirect modern civilization toward sustainable development.
Cultural Evolution argues that people's values and behavior are shaped by the degree to which survival is secure; it was precarious for most of history, which encouraged heavy emphasis on group solidarity, rejection of outsiders, and obedience to strong leaders. For under extreme scarcity, xenophobia is realistic: if there is just enough land to support one tribe and another tribe tries to claim it, survival may literally be a choice between Us and Them. Conversely, high levels of existential security encourage openness to change, diversity, and new ideas. The unprecedented prosperity and security of the postwar era brought cultural change, the environmentalist movement, and the spread of democracy. But in recent decades, diminishing job security and rising inequality have led to an authoritarian reaction. Evidence from more than 100 countries demonstrates that people's motivations and behavior reflect the extent to which they take survival for granted - and that modernization changes them in roughly predictable ways. This book explains the rise of environmentalist parties, gender equality, and same-sex marriage through a new, empirically-tested version of modernization theory.

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