The Decline of Traditional Values in Western Europe

The Decline of Traditional Values in Western Europe The Decline of Traditional Values in Western Europe Religion, Nationalism, Authority MATTEI DOGAN* ABSTRACT This paper analyses the decline of religious beliefs, of nationalist tendencies and of confidence in institutions. The empirical data gain in substance from the fact that the same trends are observed in many European countries. Sociologically it is possible to show whether God is present or absent from people's minds. Belief in the existence of God is an observable social fact. The decline of nationalism is analysed in terms of national pride, confidence in the army, defeatism and trust of neighbouring European countries. A significant proportion of Europeans do not have confidence in parliament, high administration, parties, unions, corporations and courts. RELIGION, NATIONALISM AND AUTHORITY were the traditional pillars of the old state-societies of Western Europe. Three generations ago it was still a sac- rilege to critize them. The church sanctified the national community and legitimated the authority (a monarch or an authoritarian leadership). If one of these pillars had been removed, the entire system would have been weakened. During the last four decades these traditional values have declined simulta- neously, at different speeds, in all Western European countries, without a single exception. Decline http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png International Journal of Comparative Sociology (in 2002 continued as Comparative Sociology) Brill

The Decline of Traditional Values in Western Europe

International Journal of Comparative Sociology (in 2002 continued as Comparative Sociology) , Volume 39 (1): 77 – Jan 1, 1998

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
© 1998 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
0020-7152
eISSN
1745-2554
D.O.I.
10.1163/002071598X00062
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The Decline of Traditional Values in Western Europe Religion, Nationalism, Authority MATTEI DOGAN* ABSTRACT This paper analyses the decline of religious beliefs, of nationalist tendencies and of confidence in institutions. The empirical data gain in substance from the fact that the same trends are observed in many European countries. Sociologically it is possible to show whether God is present or absent from people's minds. Belief in the existence of God is an observable social fact. The decline of nationalism is analysed in terms of national pride, confidence in the army, defeatism and trust of neighbouring European countries. A significant proportion of Europeans do not have confidence in parliament, high administration, parties, unions, corporations and courts. RELIGION, NATIONALISM AND AUTHORITY were the traditional pillars of the old state-societies of Western Europe. Three generations ago it was still a sac- rilege to critize them. The church sanctified the national community and legitimated the authority (a monarch or an authoritarian leadership). If one of these pillars had been removed, the entire system would have been weakened. During the last four decades these traditional values have declined simulta- neously, at different speeds, in all Western European countries, without a single exception. Decline

Journal

International Journal of Comparative Sociology (in 2002 continued as Comparative Sociology)Brill

Published: Jan 1, 1998

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