Inglehart-Welzel's Traditional vs. Rational Index Revisited: A Comparison between China and the West
Asian Journal of Social Psychology, Forthcoming
52 Pages Posted: 23 Nov 2012 Last revised: 28 Nov 2012
Date Written: November 22, 2012
Inglehart’s “Traditional-Rational” Index” has been widely accepted as a way to summarize changes in values between agricultural and industrial societies. An empirical re-examination of the Index using the most recent World Values Survey data, however, suggests that it fails to represent the value profiles of mainland Chinese. I introduce a five-item measurement called “Confucian Index of interpersonal relations” to capture some salient values in Chinese culture and show that in China, Confucian values that govern interpersonal relations within one’s immediate social environment are not in conflict with support of democratic government and social liberal values such as tolerance and trust. The opposite is very much true in the rich West, where those who endorse “Confucian” values are less tolerant of social diversity and where Inglehart’s Index does make a lot of sense.
Keywords: Confucian tradition, Congruence theory, Cross-cultural comparison of values and attitudes, Traditional-rational Index, World Values Survey (WVS)
JEL Classification: A13, C52, J17
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation