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The Decline of Traditional Values in Western Europe

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image of International Journal of Comparative Sociology
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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.

Affiliations: 1: Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, 75013 Paris, France


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