Pub. date: 2011 | Online Pub. Date: October 04, 2011 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412994163 | Print ISBN: 9781412959636 | Online ISBN: 9781412994163| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
The term postmaterialism refers to a specific set of modern values that form a contrast to traditional “materialistic” values. In his seminal work The Silent Revolution: Changing Values and Political Styles in Western Publics , Ronald Inglehart introduced this term to the scientific discussion about changing value orientations in advanced industrialized societies. In earlier publications, Inglehart had initially used the term postacquisitive values instead of postmaterialism. Postmaterialism primarily covers values such as environmental protection, quality of life, citizen participation, gender equality, autonomy, and self-actualization. In contrast, materialistic or acquisitive values focus on internal and external security, obedience, material affluence, and economic growth. In Inglehart's understanding, the term postmaterialism (as well as the term materialism ) concerns social and not private values. Values are defined as conceptions of the desirable; therefore, postmaterialism describes a specific concept of a desirable type of society and not a concept of the desirable order value ...