Covid-19, Existential Insecurity and Value Change in Japan
Center for Socio-Cultural Research invites you to research seminar from series
PhD, Postdoctoral Researcher, Keio University, Japan
« Covid-19, Existential Insecurity and Value Change in Japan »
Seminar will be held on March 4, 2021 at 13:00
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Working language is English
Summary of the report
Inglehart’s modernization theory links cultural values to the underlying subjective sense of existential security (‘scarcity hypothesis’). Values are also considered stable once individuals reach adulthood (‘socialization hypothesis’) but an acute existential crisis such as the Covid-19 pandemic may challenge this assumption. We test how the existential insecurity related to the pandemic relates to emancipative and secular values in four different analyses. First, we test whether values have changes during the pandemic compared to five months earlier using representative surveys for the population of Japan from WVS wave 7 (N=1,353) and VIC survey (N=3,000). Second, we test whether prefectures more severely affected by the pandemic experienced stronger value change. Third, we assess if individuals objectively affected by the pandemic differ in their values from the rest of the population. Lastly, we examine if individuals subjectively experiencing adversity also emphasize values related to existential insecurity more strongly. At all levels of analysis – national, regional, and individual (objectively and subjectively measured) – existential insecurity was associated with weaker emancipative and secular values, that is, stronger traditional, intolerant, and religious values. These findings support the scarcity hypothesis but disprove the socialization hypothesis as we provide evidence that values can change even within a negligibly short time period.