Post-Socialist Dynamics of Value Patterns in Estonia

Maaris Raudsepp, Indrek Tart, Eda Heinla


The article focuses on the dynamics of value patterns in Estonia over a period spanning late socialism to liberal market capitalism. The research data is derived from five population surveys ‘Work, family and leisure’ (WFL), in which value orientations were measured on the basis of Clyde Kluckhohn’s conception. The same instrument of life values was used in 1985 (just before the perestroika of Soviet socialist system), in 1993, 1998 and 2003 (during the transition period of post-socialism) and in 2008 (just before the economic crisis in capitalist society). The aim of the study is to differentiate value patterns and observe the trends of their change during this period. The results of hierarchical cluster analysis reveal a clear tendency of structural change: a dichotomy of value profiles on the ethno-linguistic basis in 1985 and 1993 was replaced by a dichotomy of value profiles on the basis of age in 2003 and 2008. The results of multidimensional analysis show a relative stability of the value structure and a change in the meaning of some life values (professional work, close friends). The results are discussed in the context of post-socialist societal transformation.


value orientations; structure of values; value patterns; 1985-2008.

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