Moral attitudes, economic attitudes and political orientation in Europe
The increase in the number of major international surveys in the last few years provides data well adapted for use by sociologists of cultural change. This article uses the 1999 European Values Survey to analyze how Europeans’ moral and economic attitudes are organized, and what connections obtain between those attitudes and political orientation. For moral attitudes, we observe the existence of three scales, the first bearing on mores ; the second on behavior that attests to what I propose to call social selfishness, while the third is the basis for opinions expressed on types fraud involving money. Economic opinions prove less strongly structured than moral attitudes and are often out of step with the kinds of analysis used in economics, at least the form of economics most common today. Scales of this type were first used in relation to political orientation in France twenty years ago. Though the relations are not as strong, they are confirmed at the European level, despite the cultural heterogeneity of this continent. In France, while the link between economic attitudes and political orientation seems to have weakened in the twenty years, it endures for positions on questions involving mores.