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"Values, Trends, and the Arab Spring"

Wednesday, February 29, 2012
12:00 AM
ISR Building, 6th Floor Conference Room 6050 426 Thompson Street

Mansoor Moaddel, University of Michigan, Population Studies Center

Findings from values surveys carried out in Egypt, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia in the past decade have shown a trend in people’s values toward national identity, social individualism, and gender equality (except for Egypt), and a decline in political Islam. And, as surveys in 2011 have shown, the majority of Egyptians and Lebanese believe that the main objective of the Arab Spring was for freedom and economic prosperity. Participants in the Egyptian revolution were more likely to be younger single males with higher socioeconomic status, media users, urban residents, and believers in modern values and free will. They did not mind having Americans, British, or French as neighbors. Religiosity did not predict participation, while religious intolerance was negatively linked to participation. The data presented in this talk are from a cross-national comparative values survey project on religious fundamentalism, developmental idealism, trends in values, and attitudes toward a host of other religious, cultural, and moral issues.