The Pew Center, always an excellent source of data, posted some useful data on the status of India’s economy and society under the heading: Values under Stress. The piece notes that “India is a society in the grip of rapid economic and social transformation.” As is typical of the transition, “Indians both embrace this change and worry about its impact on their traditional way of life.” As we would also expect, “the young, people who live in cities, the better-educated, the wealthier” are more receptive to the up-tempo pace of life brought on by modernization. And, almost half of Indians see consumerism and commercialism of the modern economy as a threat to Indian culture.
When I describe the modernization transition with groups, I often cite Inglehart and The World Values Survey central point of modern values as the achievement orientation. In the Pew study, “two-in-three Indians say most people can succeed if they are willing to work hard.” This suggests a break with the traditional society emphasis on fulfilling one’s role.
Since ConsumerShift put emphasis on the leading edge of values change, typically taking place in the affluent countries. This post is a good reminder that values change is also taking place in the emerging markets and the scope and scale of that change is tremendous. Andy Hines