Is a "silent revolution" in the making in China? Postmaterialist values, and political attitudes and behavior

Jie Chen, Narisong Huhe, Ting Yan

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Abstract

Five decades ago, Inglehart for the first time described and explained an unprecedented transformation of political cultures in advanced industrial societies, which he called the "silent revolution."It was characterized by the emergence in those countries of postmaterialist values as the result of a sustained period of economic growth, and the profound impact of those values on people's political attitudes and behavior. As China has experienced extraordinary economic growth in the past several decades, has such a "silent revolution"happened there? The answer to this question has been far from complete or clear. Using three longitudinal, cross-sectional national surveys, we find that while the current level of postmaterialist values in China remains relatively low, such values have flourished among younger people, and those values do shape political attitudes and behavior.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)302-329
Number of pages28
JournalAsian Survey
Volume62
Issue number2
Early online date7 Mar 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2022

Keywords

  • China
  • postmaterialist values
  • political support
  • political participation
  • modernization

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