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The Remains of the Socialist Legacy: The Influence of Socialist Socialization on Attitudes toward Income Inequality

Zsófia S. Ignácz ()
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Zsófia S. Ignácz: Institute of Sociology, Freie Universität Berlin, 14195 Berlin, Germany

Societies, 2018, vol. 8, issue 3, 1-33

Abstract: Despite convergence processes between Western and post-socialist societies in the past three decades, there are still considerable cross-country differences in individuals’ attitudes toward income inequality. To explain these differences, studies have primarily focused on the role of macro level differences and have only theoretically acknowledged how the role of diverging socialization experiences could also be responsible. To date, little is known about the importance of socialization for attitudes toward income inequality. This article assesses whether the differences between Western and post-socialist countries are influenced by socialization effects. Applying an adapted age-period-cohort analysis on the dataset of the International Social Survey Program’s (ISSP) “Social Inequality” module in survey years 1992, 1999, and 2009, the paper shows that socialization has a substantial effect on attitudes and a socialist socialization clearly differentiates individuals from post-socialist countries from Westerners. Results underline that experiences gained in formative years are crucial for attitudes. A further finding is that both perception and preferences toward income inequality are influenced by socialization.

Keywords: post-socialist societies; generational differences; income inequality; age-period-cohort analysis; socialization; attitudes (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: A13 A14 P P0 P1 P2 P3 P4 P5 Z1 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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