Convergence or divergence are two plausible but different views on how local cultures respond to the forces of globalization. In the present study, a newly formulated value dimension of secularism was used to investigate the direction of value change induced in members of national groups over the last two decades by the forward march of recent history. A culturally equivalent but single dimension of secularism was extracted from the items tapping the two dimensions of value originally proposed by Inglehart (1997) in the World Values Survey. No evidence of convergence or divergence in secularism was found, as there were no significant differences in standard deviations of citizen scores on secularism across any of the six time periods across which the World Values Survey was administered on the four occasions to date. In addition, there was evidence, though it was not consistent, showing that people across the planet are becoming more secular. Furthermore, a consistently significant relationship between change in HDI (Human Development Index) and change in secularism could not be consistently found for countries, suggesting that cultural value change is not determined by social-economic development. However, the secularism of a country's citizens was found to moderate the impact of social development on secular change during certain recent time period, such that only citizens in initially more secular countries increased their secularism. Future research agendas were proposed in light of these findings. Copyright © 2009 Western Social Science Association. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
CitationLi, L. M. W., & Bond, M. H. (2010). Value change: Analyzing national change in citizen secularism across four time periods in the World Values Survey. The Social Science Journal, 47(2), 294-306. doi: 10.1016/j.soscij.2009.12.004
- Value change