English title: Is solidarity less important and less functional in egalitarian contexts?

Author(s): Marii Paskov -

Language: English

Type: Journal article

Year: 2016


Solidarity refers to a willingness to contribute to the welfare of other people. This study builds on the idea that not only the value of solidarity (i.e. whether people find solidarity important) but also the function of solidarity (i.e. whether solidarity results in reputational gains) can differ across societies. According to the literature, egalitarian contexts can either have a normative effect by promoting the value of solidarity and increasing the reputational gains of solidarity, or they can have a crowding-out effect by diminishing the value of solidarity and weakening the reputational gains resulting from solidarity. The current study investigates these conflicting ideas using individual-level data (N = 195,024) from the European Social Survey (ESS), which combines six waves of cross-sectional studies collected in 28 countries from 2002 to 2012. The results show that both the value of solidarity and the function of solidarity are weaker in egalitarian contexts, supporting the crowding-out hypothesis. In inegalitarian contexts individual solidarity is more valued and it serves more as a function for promoting higher reputational gains as compared to egalitarian contexts. The combination of between- and within-country over-time empirical evidence adds to the strength of these findings.

Volume: 59

Issue: 1

From page no: 3

To page no: 18

Refereed: Yes

DOI: 10.1177/0001699315605623

Journal: Acta Sociologica

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