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Modernization and Postmodernization Paperback – May 25, 1997

ISBN-13: 978-0691011806 ISBN-10: 069101180X Edition: 0th

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press (May 25, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 069101180X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0691011806
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #300,429 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"[This is] Inglehart's most convincing demonstration of the theory of intergenerational value change, the cornerstone of his scholarship. . . . With data from 43 societies collected over nearly three decades, and representing 70 percent of the world's population . . .the analysis of Inglehart's unprecedented comparative dataset is nuanced, sophisticated, and certain to stimulate the kind of criticism that will deepen our understanding of social change."--The Review of Politics

"Ronald Inglehart is one of the very few scholars to have remained consistently engaged with both the study of political culture and the development of modernization theory over the past few decades. In Modernization and Postmodernization, he presents the cumulative results of decades of research on the interrelationships among cultural values, democracy, and capitalism. His findings are consistently thought-provoking and often surprising and should inspire prolonged and productive controversy. . . . Overall, Inglehart's fascinating book raises tantalizing questions about the long-term trajectory of value change in modern society."--Stephen E. Hanson, Comparative Politics

From the Publisher

Ronald Inglehart argues that economic development, cultural change, and political change go together in coherent and even, to some extent, predictable patterns. This is a controversial claim. It implies that some trajectories of socioeconomic change are more likely than others and consequently that certain changes are foreseeable. Once a society has embarked on industrialization, for example, a whole syndrome of related changes, from mass mobilization to diminishing differences in gender roles, is likely to appear. These changes in worldviews seem to reflect changes in the economic and political environment, but they take place with a generational time lag and have considerable autonomy and momentum of their own. But industrialization is not the end of history. Advanced industrial society leads to a basic shift in values, deemphasizing the instrumental rationality that characterized industrial society. Postmodern values then bring new societal changes, including democratic political institutions and the decline of state socialist regimes. To demonstrate the powerful links between belief systems and political and socioeconomic variables, this book draws on a unique database, the World Values Surveys. This database covers a broader range than ever before available for looking at the impact of mass publics on political and social life. It provides information from societies representing 70 percent of the world's population from societies with per capita incomes as low as $300 per year to those with per capita incomes one hundred times greater and from longestablished democracies with market economies to authoritarian states.

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Matthew P. Arsenault on August 12, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Modernization Theory holds that industrialization, and the subsequent economic development is linked with cultural, political, and economic changes. Additionally, Modernization Theory argues that these linkages and changes can and do form coherent and predictable patterns. However, one of the critiques of Modernization Theory has to do with causality. Both the Marxist and Weberian schools are in agreement with the basic premise that economic, political, and cultural change form coherent patterns, but diverge in regards to the catalysts of said change. The Marxist camp argues that economic and technological change drives political and social change, while the Weberian school postulates that cultural aspects drive economic and political change.

Inglehart, however, suggests that the deterministic arguments posed by both the Marxists and Weberians are oversimplified. Rather, Inglehart argues that economic, political, and cultural variables are mutually dependent and intertwined. He writes, "if you know one component you can predict the other components with far better than random success" (331). Inglehart further critiques Modernization Theory for its emphasis on linearity. Rather than moving in one continuous direction, the author argues that there is a fundamental change in values and motivations, this being the shift to Postmodernization.

With these two critiques, as well as rebuke of the supposed ethnocentricity of the theory, and the assumption that Modernization leads to democracy, Inglehart pursues a new model of economic, political, and cultural change which composes his Modernization and Postmodernization thesis.

Inglehart argues that during the Modernization phase a society undergoes economic, cultural, and political changes.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Ryan M. Moore on October 5, 2006
Format: Paperback
Ignore the only other review about this book, which is tremendously silly and obviously written from a right-wing perspective. It is not true that Inglehart opposes materialist and postmaterialist values against tradition: in fact he creates a multi-dimensional model in which the opposition between materialist and postmaterialist values make up one axis, while the opposition between traditional and secular-rational authority constitutes a separate axis. Thus, the US is situated in this model as a society whose people prioritize postmaterialist values but ALSO favor (more slightly) traditional over secular-rational forms of authority. This combination of postmaterialism and tradition seems to explain a lot about Americans today: they increasingly favor qualitative values like free expression, choice, and life satisfaction over quantitative values like money and technology, and yet they adhere more to traditional forms of authority like religion, the family, and nation while being distrustful of secular institutions and the government.

Inglehart's thesis is that cultural, political, and economic changes cluster together and change in relatively predictable ways. Societies undergo tremendous changes as they modernize, industrialize, bureaucratize, urbanize, and so forth, but then they hit a point of diminishing returns when the survival of most people can be guaranteed and scarcity is no longer an issue. This is the point where people seek out postmaterialist values, because the search for more money leaves them existentially empty, and so they seek out more substantive forms of satisfaction and meaning.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Tom Bryder on November 6, 2006
Format: Paperback
Inglehart, one of the pioneers of modern political culture research, has expanded his previous studies, based on mainly US and European research to include those countries where the World Value Surveys are conducted. The book is well illustrated and written, empirically solid and it goes without saying that the traditional paradigm used now gets a more general validation with the inclusion of new countries.

The ecologial variables included now also expands the implications of what the change to post-materialist values means. Still, a considerable part of the book, especially the theoretical part, gives a "deja vue" experience. It would be nice to get some really new ideas from the discoverer of post-materialism, and not just new amassment of data. But granted that the samples used in this book are from completely new and different contexts, it is satifying to see that the post-materialist silent revolution was not really a 1968 cohort industrialist phenomenon, something that critics have said of Ingleharts previous works. The book updates the more theoretically innovative Culture Shift in Advanced Industrial Society, and can be used as a course book in political culture classes.
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32 of 58 people found the following review helpful By Joseph L. Bast on March 10, 1999
Format: Paperback
Ronald Inglehart looks at a database of changes in public opinion in 43 countries and finds that, around 1990, a majority of people in the U.S. and other advanced industrial societies ranked "postmodern" or "postmaterialist" values above "modern" or "materialist" values. In third place and rapidly disappearing is "traditional" values.
These new attitudes have important implications for marketing products and for politics. The rise of Green parties in Europe, for example, is an expected development from these underlying cultural changes. (A similar development has been delayed in the U.S. because we don't allow fractional voting or proportional representation.)
For people interested in politics, this is familiar territory. It was covered by William Maddox and Stuart Lilie's 1984 book, "Beyond Liberal and Conservative: Reassessing the Political Spectrum," Alvin Toffler's work, David Boaz's edited collection for the Cato Institute, "Left, Right and Babyboom: America's New Politics," (1986) and many editorials in Reason, Forbes FYI, and similar publications. Inglehart says this is the first empirical research to find these trends are shared by all developed countries, that postmodernists now outnumber modernists and traditionalists, and that culture can change or be changed by economic conditions.
I found this to be a valuable piece of research, but was repeatedly put off by the decidedly leftist slant of Inglehart's work. The book is riddled with references to Marxist history, economics, psychology, and sociology. He is often saying Marx "made an important contribution in this area" but that recent events have proven him wrong, but perhaps his underlying theory was correct.
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