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Article

On Family, Work, Money, and Morals: Intergenerational Value Differences in China

Chinese Journal of Sociology. 2010. Vol. 30. No. 4. P. 118-142.
Swader C. S., Yuan H.

In which ways has China‘s rapid social change crystallised into differences between its generations’ values? The significance of intergenerational value gaps in values involving work, family, materialism, and individualism is reported based on a mixed-methods approach. A set of qualitative interviews with businessmen and their fathers was conducted in Shanghai in late 2005. Semi-structured interviews with individuals from these two groups are analyzed to see if there may be intergenerational breaks and continuities. The issue is then explored quantitatively through an analysis of the 4th wave (2000) of World Values Survey data in China. Results from both methods indicate the middle-aged cohort, compared to the older, to be less focused on thrift, more materialistic, more individualistic, and less mindful in the parental duty of norm transmission, while the valuation of hard-work is equal within the middle and older cohorts.