Perceptions of societal developmental hierarchies in Europe and beyond: A Bulgarian Perspective

Publication Abstract

Melegh, Attila, Arland Thornton, Dimiter Philipov, and Linda Young-DeMarco. 2013. "Perceptions of societal developmental hierarchies in Europe and beyond: A Bulgarian Perspective." European Sociological Review, 29(3): 603-615.

We examine how ordinary citizens in Bulgaria view the developmental levels of European countries and certain states outside of Europe. Our research is motivated by the understanding that scholars and policy makers have for centuries used developmental hierarchies to characterize countries and that this perception of differential development has shaped interactions among different groups, countries, and regions. We expect that views of such developmental hierarchies and models have great potential for influencing demographic and family behavior and political and cultural identities of ordinary people. Using data from a 2009 survey in Bulgaria, we document that developmental hierarchies are widely perceived in Bulgaria, but are distributed differentially by age, education, and degree of urbanization. We also consider internal mechanisms underlying this hierarchical understanding of development and how hierarchical understandings may be related to national identities.

10.1093/esr/jcs010

PMCID: PMC3691096. (Pub Med Central)

Country of focus: Bulgaria.

Developmental Idealism series.

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