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Intergenerational Mobility of Value Orientations in Ukrainian Society

The concept of social mobility was introduced to sociology by P.Sorokin in the first half of the ХХth century. He had described social mobility as "Any transition of an individual or social object or value – anything that has been created or modified by human activity – from one social position to another" [1, p.373]. Actually, change in values between older and younger generations is type of social mobility that is named intergenerational mobility of value orientations.

Schwartz’s model of basic human values was used to estimate value orientations of the older and younger generations of Ukrainians. 57 value items were aggregated in the 10 types of value orientations marked out by Schwartz: Power, Conformity, Benevolence, Security, Tradition, Universalism, Self-Direction, Stimulation, Hedonism, Achievement (Schwartz Value Scale) [2, p.231–239].

In this study an attempt to compare the differences in the value orientations between two generations of Ukrainians based on the data carried out under "The European Social Survey 2011" was made. Sample included 1,931 Ukrainians interviewed face-to-face from 13.05.2011 to 30.07.2011 [3]. According to the proportions of the general totality, the two groups of Ukrainians were selected and weighted: people aged 15 to 25 years called "Youth" (the younger generation) and people aged 35 to 50 years with children labeled "Parents".

The main stage of the study was single-factor analysis of variance (ANOVA) and independent-samples T-Test comparison of value orientations averages between generations. The regression analysis was performed to estimate percent of the differences between the "Youth" and "Parents" which can be explained by differences in value orientations. The Pearson's correlation coefficient was defined in order to compare the importance of motivational value orientations for two generations.

According to the results of regression analysis, nearly 14% differences between generations can be explained by differences in values orientations. The results of the statistical analysis show that there are no statistically significant differences between the older and younger generations in such value orientations as Power, Self-Direction and Benevolence.

The results of the correlation analysis show that young people appreciate Hedonism, Self-Direction, Stimulation and Achievement more than the older generation. In contradistinction to "Youth" such value orientations as Tradition, Security, Conformity and Universalism are more important for "Parents" (table 1).

Table 1. Pearson's correlation coefficients (negative index – is more important for the younger generation than for the older, and vice versa)

Value orientation

Pearson's correlation coefficient

The level of significance

N

Self-Direction

-0.021

0.575

730

Stimulation

-0.225

0

729

Hedonism

-0.266

0

730

Achievement

-0.129

0.001

728

Security

0.179

0

730

Power

-0.081

0.028

730

Conformity

0.149

0

723

Tradition

0.281

0

730

Benevolence

0.049

0.186

730

Universalism

0.153

0

730

The differences between generations by the value of Security indicate that the older generation seeks harmony and stability in society more than the "Youth". It can be explained by complicated social situations "Parents" were influenced by through their lives.

The values of Tradition and Conformity have a greater priority for older people because they focus on the others more than on themselves. It displays the result of their cultural, ideological and social education due to life experience.

The most important difference between "Youth" and "Parents" is observed in the esteem of the Hedonism value. Younger generation doesn’t pay enough attention to the spiritual values, giving priority to pleasure, entertainment and enjoyment of modern life. That is mainly explained by modern information technologies, the development of powerful entertainment industry, commercialization of sports tournaments and cultural events.

Stimulation is more important to "Youth", because, in contrast to the older generation, young people are not only more exposed to social change but also wants these changes. Actually, they are involved to, that seems to be a positive signal for Ukrainian society. As S. Schwartz notes, the more people tend to innovations, the more democratic society is [2].

To sum up, this sociological study shows that there are significant differences in value orientations between younger and older generations in Ukraine and respectively proves the high level of value intergenerational mobility: importance of 7 out of 10 value orientations differs from one generation to another. Moreover, the intergenerational mobility of value orientations is structural. Elder Ukrainians prefer normative ideals focused on the value of collectivist culture while young people are guided by a typically individual priority of behavior. Values of the older people were mostly formed in time of the Soviet Union, which is associated with closed society and static social structure. The creation of value orientations of younger generation is been occurring in market conditions of the independent Ukraine. It is important to emphasize the value of Hedonism as dominant for the younger generation and, on the other hand, value of Tradition, which is dominant for the older generation.

References: 1. Social mobility and its shape and fluctuations // Sorokin P.A. People. Civilization. Society. – M. : Politizdat, 1992. 2. Schwartz S.H., Boehnke K. Evaluating the structure of human values with confirmatory factor analysis // Journal of Research in Personality. – 2004. – Vol. 38. 3. The European Social Survey // Survey organisation in Ukraine: SOCIS and Research and Branding Group. Retrieved from http://www.europeansocialsurvey.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=322&Itemid=389.

Агамирьян Любовь

Харьковский национальный университет имени В.Н. Каразина

(Украина, Харьков)

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