Effects of Modernization and Globalization on Values Change in the Arab World
This paper argues that social transformation processes generate shifts in public opinion among the public. More specifically, increasing rates of modernization and globalization in the Arab world over the past half century have led to a moving away from religion, tradition, and ethnocentrism to embracing more secular, liberal, and egalitarian values. Ordinary citizens in today’s Arab world are more tolerant towards non-Muslims, Americans, and other Westerners more than ever before. They support recognizing Israel as a state at a rate previously unprecedented in the region. Arabs are politically, socially, and culturally more liberal than they have been in the twentieth century. Evidence from the World Values Survey and Arab Barometer clearly convey this observable value change in the region. Underlying causes for this change are arguably due to macro, mezzo, and micro-level changes in peoples’ lives resulting from increased modernization and globalization compared to earlier periods. This confirms earlier findings from Western Europe and North America, which propose that social transformation processes, yield predictable changes in values among mass publics.
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