Intermediary Organizations and Value Changes in Political Subcultures: A Five-Country Comparison

Research question/goal: 

The goal of this project is to develop a model of the social mediation of individual value orientations, attitudes, and behaviors, as well as to empirically test this model. Research on values has to this point concentrated on measuring and analyzing the subjective components of value orientations; how they are institutionally imparted has been neglected. Intermediary organizations, and their significance for the continuity of or changes in individual value orientations and behaviors, play a central role in this project. The object of investigation is the shift in value orientation, sparked by the mobilization of the 1960s in Western societies, that affected the core aspects of life: family, work, education, politics, and religion. The structuring of individual value orientations and the social control of behavior through intermediary organizations is clearest in political subcultures. Therefore, the four consensus democracies of Belgium, the Netherlands, Austria, and Switzerland, along with Italy, constitute our sample. The heaviest erosion of social bonds unleashed by the value shift occurred in Catholic social milieus, and they will thus be examined in comparative perspective. An important goal of this project is also to create a systematic databank on intermediary organizations.

Fact sheet

1996 to 1998
Geographic Space: 
Belgium, Netherlands, Austria, Switzerland, Italy