Value orientations among late modern youth – a cross-cultural study

Karvonen, S., Young, R. , West, P. and Rahkonen, O. (2012) Value orientations among late modern youth – a cross-cultural study. Journal of Youth Studies, 15(1), pp. 33-52. (doi: 10.1080/13676261.2011.617734)

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Few studies have sought to test whether changes in value orientation proposed by social theories can empirically be found. This study aims to rigorously test the extent to which there is similarity in values, in two large samples representative of 15-year-olds. We hypothesised that youth from Helsinki are more likely to hold more late-modern values and Glaswegian youth more modern values with more traditional elements. The material was drawn from two comparable school-based surveys conducted respectively, in Glasgow in 1999 (n=2196) and Helsinki in 1998 (n=2420). Using structural equation modelling (SEM) techniques we were able to identify similar constructs representing values towards sex roles, work ethic, citizenship, authority, environment and equity. Glasgow youth showed more consensus typical of modern societies, whereas Helsinki youth were more varied in their patterns of attitudes. There were many signs of Helsinki youth being more late modern in their values. Yet, four out of 10 subordinate hypotheses derived from our main hypothesis were not supported by the findings. This study is compatible with the view that young people from Helsinki appear more late modern in their value orientation, but there are clearly local adaptations to the general value shift thesis.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Young, Mr Robert and West, Prof Patrick
Authors: Karvonen, S., Young, R., West, P., and Rahkonen, O.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Health & Wellbeing > MRC/CSO SPHSU
Journal Name:Journal of Youth Studies
Publisher:Taylor and Francis (Routledge)
ISSN (Online):1469-9680

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