Value modernisation in Central and Eastern European countries: how does inglehart's theory work?
An intergenerational shift from more pro-family norms to individual-choice norms has been taking place since the 1980s. Conditions of economic and social security positively contributed to this shift especially in high-income countries. In this paper, we study the modernisation change on value structures in selected Central and Eastern European countries and compare them with Western European ones and look at the generational differences. We first check whether the value shift is moving in the assumed direction and whether it is copying trends observed in Western European countries. We then look at different generations to determine whether the younger generations in CEE countries that grew up after 1989, in a time of rapid economic and political change, show higher levels of post-materialist and post-modern values than the generations socialised and raised during the communist regime. We use data collected by the international repeated cross-sectional European Values Study (EVS). The results are not clear-cut on whether socioeconomic modernisation has led to higher shares of post-materialism, more gender-egalitarian attitudes, and stronger support for individual-choice norms in CEE countries. In all the spheres of cultural modernisation analysed we found differences in values and attitudes between generations: the older generations were always more traditional than the younger generations. This was not just true in the CEE countries, as the same trend was recorded in the Western European countries.