Cultural Change, Slow and Fast: The Distinctive Trajectory of Norms Governing Gender Equality and Sexual Orientation
This article builds on research demonstrating that high levels of economic and physical security are conducive to a shift from Materialist to Postmaterialist values---and that this shift tends to make people more favorable to important social changes. This article updates this research, demonstrating that:
(1) These value changes occur with exceptionally large time-lags between the onset of the conditions conducive to them, and the societal changes they produce---as previous work implies but does not demonstrate. The evidence suggests that there was a time-lag of 40 to 50 years between when Western societies first attained of high levels of economic and physical security after World War II, and related societal changes such as legalization of same-sex marriage. (2) A distinctive set of “Individual-choice norms,” dealing with acceptance of gender equality, divorce, abortion and homosexuality, is moving on a different trajectory from other cultural changes. These norms are closely linked with human fertility rates and require severe self-repression. (3) Although basic values normally change at the pace of intergenerational population replacement, the shift from Pro-fertility norms to Individual-choice norms is now moving much faster, having reached a tipping-point where conformist pressures have reversed polarity and are now accelerating changes they once resisted. We test these claims against data from 80 countries containing most of the world’s population, surveyed from 1981 to 2014.
This paper examines correlations between the genetic characteristics of human populations and their aggregate levels of tolerance and happiness. A metadata analysis of genetic polymorphisms supports the interpretation that a major cause of the systematic clustering of genetic characteristics may be climatic conditions linked with relatively high or low levels of parasite vulnerability. This led vulnerable populations to develop gene pools conducive to avoidance of strangers, while less-vulnerable populations developed gene pools linked with lower levels of avoidance. This, in turn, helped shape distinctive cultures and subsequent economic development. Survey evidence from 48 countries included in the World Values Survey suggests that a combination of cultural, economic and genetic factors has made some societies more tolerant of outsiders and more predisposed to accept gender equality than others. These relatively tolerant societies also tend to be happier, partly because tolerance creates a less stressful social environment. Though economic development tends to make all societies more tolerant and open to gender equality and even somewhat happier, these findings suggest that cross-national differences in how readily these changes are accepted, may reflect genetically-linked cultural differences.
Fertility transition in Russia had been completed up to the 1960s, but since then pregnancy termination remained playing a large role in birth control. Official statistics show the positive dynamics of main characteristics of reproductive health in the post-Soviet period. This development is often questioned. Based on the analysis of data from Rosstat, Russian Ministry of Health, and materials from sample surveys, mostly from 21 waves of "Russian Longitudinal Monitoring Survey - Higher School of Economics "(RLMS-HSE) we conclude that the official statistics of abortion are adequate. The article refutes the assumption of significant underreporting of abortions in Russia. Over the past few decades Russia has experienced contraceptive revolution, which led to a more humane way of birth control.
This study aims to analyze differences between gender attitudes of migrants and local population in 8 countries of Western and Northern Europe. It tests whether migrants from developing countries, especially from the Muslim world, tend to follow European trends in their attitude towards gender equality or they tend to treat gender equality issues in the same manner as in their countries of origin. This topic is of particular importance as attitudes towards women’s rights are proven to be a strong predictor of support for democracy and of liberal values in general. This study uses the data of the 5th wave of the European Social Survey, a representative national sample for the most European societies. The results show that migrants are a little more conservative in their gender attitudes than local Europeans, but the influence of this factor is often overestimated, whereas age and level of education exceed migrant status and Islam as predictors of liberal or conservative gender attitudes. Moreover, attitudes towards women’s rights among migrants are very similar to the attitudes of the local population in any particular country. Consequently, migrants in the most liberal countries such as Sweden show more support for gender equality than locals in Germany or Switzerland. However, Muslim religion remains a robust medium-sized negative predictor of gender attitudes.
Adult mortality has been lower in Kyrgyzstan vs. Russia among males since at least 1981 and among females since 1999. Also, Kyrgyzstan’s mortality fluctuations have had smaller amplitude. This has occurred in spite of worse macro-economic outcomes in Kyrgyzstan. To understand these surprising patterns, we analyzed cause-specific mortality in Kyrgyzstan vs. Russia for the period 1981-2010, using unpublished official data. We find that, as in Russia, fluctuations in Kyrgyzstan have been primarily due to changes in external causes and circulatory causes, and alcohol appears to play an important role. However, in contrast with Russia, mortality from these causes in Kyrgyzstan has been lower and has increased by a smaller amount. As a result, the mortality gap between the two countries is overwhelmingly attributable to external and cardio-vascular causes, and more generally, to causes that have been shown to be strongly related to alcohol consumption. These cause-specific results, together with the existence of large ethnic differentials in mortality in Kyrgyzstan, highlight the importance of cultural and religious differences, and their impact on patterns of alcohol consumption, in explaining the mortality gap between the two countries. These findings show that explanatory frameworks relying solely on macro-economic factors are not sufficient for understanding differences in mortality levels and trends among former Soviet republics.
This article addresses the questions, What do children in urban areas do on Saturdays? What type of organizational resources do they have access to? Does this vary by social class? Using diary data on children’s activities on Saturdays in the Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale metropolitan area, the authors describe the different types of venues (households, businesses, public space, associations, charities, congregations, and government/tribal agencies) that served different types of children. They find that the likelihood of using a charity or business rather than a government or tribal provider increased with family income. Also, the likelihood of using a congregation or a government facility rather than business, charity, or household increased with being Hispanic. The authors discuss implications for the urban division of labor on Saturdays and offer research questions that need further investigation.
This article is talking about state management and cultural policy, their nature and content in term of the new tendency - development of postindustrial society. It mentioned here, that at the moment cultural policy is the base of regional political activity and that regions can get strong competitive advantage if they are able to implement cultural policy successfully. All these trends can produce elements of new economic development.