The Divergence Hypothesis in Modernization Theory Across Three European Countries: the UK, Sweden and Greece
Stefania Kalogeraki: The Section for Science and Technology Studies, Gothenburg University, Sweden
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Following a comparative approach it is argued that the modernizing trajectories of three European countries, i.e., the UK, Sweden and Greece were different, as the cultural heritages of the three countries under study, formed by specific historical, political and religious events have acted as a filter of their modernization processes and left an imprint on the prevailing values. England followed a type of modernization associated with “bourgeois revolutions”, Sweden was highly influenced by the popular belief system of solidarity of the political culture of Scandinavian nations and Greece, although increasingly modern, can be associated with a more traditional, top to bottom, version of modernization, highly influenced by the Greek Orthodox Church. Secondary data and empirical research show that the different modernizing paths in the three countries have formed their main cultural characteristics; the UK is portrayed as an individualistic culture,Sweden as an amalgamation of both individualism and collectivism, and Greece as a traditional and more collectivist one. As culture, in the Parsonian approach, acts as the binder of the social world it has functioned as a mediating mechanism, shaping the personality traits and social relationships among British, Swedish and Greek citizens in the direction of an individualistic and/or a collectivist ethos. Whilst the thesis of the article does not support the bipolarity of the “divergence” and “convergence” hypotheses it provides some evidence to the former suggesting that modernization does not always take a simple linear path providing no room for variations.

Keywords: Modernization; divergence hypothesis; individualism; collectivism; Europé

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, Article 10, 2009
Stefania Kalogeraki
The Divergence Hypothesis in Modernization Theory Across Three European Countries: the UK, Sweden and Greece
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    , Article 10, 2009
    Stefania Kalogeraki
    The Divergence Hypothesis in Modernization Theory Across Three European Countries: the UK, Sweden and Greece
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