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Perceptions of Developmental Hierarchies in Taiwan: Conceptual, Substantive, and Methodological Insights

Publication Abstract

Thornton, Arland, and Li-Shou Yang. 2016. "Perceptions of Developmental Hierarchies in Taiwan: Conceptual, Substantive, and Methodological Insights." Chinese Journal of Sociology, 2(4): 547-576.

Motivated by a growing awareness of the penetration of developmental idealism into the daily lives of ordinary people, this paper analyzes Taiwanese college students' perceptions of developmental hierarchies, a key element of developmental idealism. We investigate the extent to which Taiwanese students hold hierarchical views of the world, whether these views match the views of the United Nations, the stability of these views across time, and the reliability of measurement. Data for this paper come from the survey of 'Political Values and Attitudes among University Students in Taiwan,' a panel study conducted by the Election Study Center in Taipei, Taiwan. Our results from this panel study conducted in 2006, 2007, and 2008 show that Taiwanese students have worldviews that include developmental hierarchies that are very similar to the country development ratings of the United Nations. We show that these perceptions of developmental hierarchies can be measured reliably at both the individual and the aggregate levels and are stable across the survey years.

10.1177/2057150X16670831

Country of focus: Taiwan.

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