Individualization and the fragmentation of work values: Evidence from the European values study

L.C.J.M. Halman

    Research output: Book/ReportReport

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    This article focuses on two main topics of modernization theory: individualization and value fragmentation. According to this theory it is to be expected that 1. individualized orientations will be dominant in modern society, and 2. that values in modern society are fragmented. These ideas were empirically investigated for the values in the domain of work using the survey data from the 1990 European Values Study. It is assumed that the process of individualization has induced a shift in basic orientations in the domain of work from instrumental towards expressive. Another distinctive feature of modern society is value fragmentation. Value fragmentation denotes first of all a process of increasing heterogeneity of the populations of modernized societies. Modern people pick and choose their attitudes and values according to their own preferences and it has become less likely that they will make similar choices. All kinds of combinations of choices are possible and this implies that values no longer do constitute coherent patterns. In other words, a weakening of associations between value orientations will have occurred. Four regions have been distinguished in Europe: North, West, South and East and hypotheses with respect to value preferences and fragmentation have been formulated for these regions. Finally, the impact of age and education, two important predictors of values and value changes, has been investigated.
    Original languageEnglish
    Place of PublicationTILBURG
    PublisherWORC, Work and Organization Research Centre
    Number of pages21
    Publication statusPublished - 1996

    Publication series



    • labour
    • values
    • workmeanings
    • labour economics


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