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Individualization In Europe And America: Connecting Religious And Moral Values

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Chapter Summary

The primary focus of this chapter is on two sets of values, religiosity and morality, that are often taken as significant dimensions of value change as states experience the transition from industrialism to post-industrialism. The chapter tests the theory of individualization with an empirical examination of cross-national and cross-time survey data on value change in post-industrial Western countries. The obvious paradox is that as secularization and moral permissiveness increase in the United States, the salience of religious and moral outlooks as a dividing line in American society also increases. The focus of the chapter is confined to the linkages between religious and moral values. The conclusion gives an entirely new meaning to Beck's aphorism that &t;human mutuality and community rests on a paradoxical collectively of reciprocal individualization&t;.

Keywords: American society; human mutuality; individualization; moral values; religious values



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