The application of Inglehart’s materialism/postmaterialism index in non-industrialised countries: a critique

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Peer-Reviewed Research
  • SDG 17
  • Abstract:

    English:This article makes three central claims. The first is that the operationalisation of Ronald Inglehart’s “materialist/postmaterialist dimension” cannot be transported unchanged from the industrialised western context of its origin to the non-industrialised world. The second claim is that an important dimension of the current values analysis strategy of Taylor, Kotzé and others in South Africa is theoretically incoherent. These theorists expanded Inglehart’s dimension to include a “pre-materialist” cluster of values in order to deal with values which they find important but which are not covered in the materialist/postmaterialist dimension. However, this is intended to be a universal dimension and cannot be adapted in this way. The third claim is that one can learn much from the South African attempt to adapt the materialist/postmaterialist dimension. In fact, it points to the need for an analytical strategy appropriate to the socio-economic conditions of developing nations. Both minimal and more comprehensive changes are proposed.