AbstractsSociology

A Review of Ronald Inglehart’s Postmaterialist Thesis and Its Application to the Greater China Area

by Peter Chai




Institution: Waseda University
Department: Graduate School of Political Science
Degree: Master's Degree
Year: 2023
Keywords: Postmaterialist Values, Ronald Inglehart, Greater China Area
Posted: 04/24/2022
Record ID: 2222267
Full text PDF: https://waseda.academia.edu/peterchai
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Abstract

This master’s thesis introduces Ronald Inglehart’s postmaterialist model and Christian Welzel’s human development theory and discusses them in the context of the Greater China area. Through categorizing existing articles in this literature and identifying their potential limitations, this thesis suggests a need to re-examine a set of postmaterialist hypotheses with the help of the latest wave of the World Values Survey. Sections 1, 2, and 3 provide an overview of the conceptual framework of the postmaterialist model and the Asian “uniqueness” debate. Sections 4, 5, and 6 elaborate on the academic significance of comparing Mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan based on their conformity to the postmaterialist hypotheses and the associated challenges. Sections 7, 8, and 9 present the empirical results from cross-tabulations based on a range of relevant demographic indicators across the three societies and investigate some contextual complexities in interpreting these statistical outputs given the diverse forms of social movements in Mainland China. With a combination of theoretical and empirical analyses, the tentative conclusion of this thesis is that no strong and consistent patterns could be found when applying the postmaterialist hypotheses across the three societies and closer looks at the value mechanisms embedded in the local realities are necessary for future researchers in this field. Therefore, the contents of this thesis proceed as follows: (1) Ronald Inglehart’s Postmodernization Model: Its Anthropological and Psychological Foundations, (2) Ronald Inglehart and Christian Welzel’s Postmaterialist Theses: Economy, Education, and Generational Replacements, (3) Ronald Inglehart and Christian Welzel’s Contributions and Limitations: The Meaning of Empirical Studies and the Asian “Uniqueness,” (4) Studying Postmaterialist Values in the Greater China Area: A Typology of Theories, (5) Studying Postmaterialist Values in the Greater China Area: A Literature Review, (6) The Challenges of the WVS, Asian Barometer, and the CGSS in the Greater China Area: Some Preliminary Concerns, (7) Testing Ronald Inglehart’s Hypotheses with the WVS: Comparative Studies Across Mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, (8) Testing Ronald Inglehart’s Hypotheses with the WVS: A Closer Look at Environmentalism, (9) Postmaterialism in Mainland China: Collective Actions and Uneven Developments.