For the past decade European countries have undergone a severe economic crisis, with severe consequences both for individuals and for governments. Unemployment and rising poverty have compelled individuals to reconsider their own priorities and goals, while governments have been forced to rethink social policies on the national level, as well as their international economic and political agreements. Some countries have been more deeply affected by the crisis than others, and the impact of economic shortage on individuals and governments has differed, not only because of the different magnitudes of the crisis, but also because individuals react differently to the contextual changes.
This book makes use of cross-national survey data to explore the impact of wealth and economic contexts on social values. Instead of attempting to explain how aggregate changes occur (as previous volumes have done) the chapters in this collection focus on micro-level effects to interrogate more deeply the interplay between attitudes and values – and the way both can change as a result of transformation of economic context. This book elaborates on several dimensions of value change:
the measurement model and the way it changes under the impact of economic shortage;
the connection between universal value orientations and attitudes towards different objects (e.g. the welfare state, immigrants and ethnic groups);
the effects of economic factors and vulnerability on values and attitudinal orientations;
how particular political and economic contexts produce changes in political orientations.
This book focuses on the interrelationship of social values, attitudes and economic scarcity in the context of the last economic crisis experienced by many European countries. It will appeal to scholars and students of sociology, political science and economics.