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This chapter will focus, from a quantitative and longitudinal perspective, on the cohorts who experienced and were involved in those sixties events often symbolized by reference to the climactic year 1968. It looks in particular at the connection between education and values and unconventional political participation. As education has been a major characteristic of the active sixties generation, educational level and educational expansion will be theorised to analyse social mechanisms behind the sixties movement and its development. We will compare the sixties generation – the birth cohorts 1946–53 at the core – to other earlier and later cohorts regarding their values, and political participation. As there are strong differences between different educational levels, three educational groups will be compared to each other (low educated, intermediate educated and more-highly educated people). As another issue the change in values, orientations and behaviour over time period or age will be analysed for different cohorts and educational levels. To follow the course of development of values and political participation of the sixties generation over time in comparison to other cohorts, longitudinal methods of analysis will be deployed – in particular A-P-C-Analysis (i.e. simultaneous analysis of age, period and cohort effects). The data base used is the German General Social Survey (ALLBUS). To analyse these changes appropriately, we consider a time span of 20 years – beginning with 1986 and ending with 2006.
INTRODUCTION: ZEITGEIST AND INTRAFAMILIAL TRANSMISSION PROCESSES
In a family, similarity between parent and offspring values can originate from three sources: (1) direct and mediated value-transmission effects of parents' values on the values of their children; (2) processes of adaptation of the parents to values and attitudes of their children; and (3) parents and children being affected similarly by the context within which they live (Boehnke, 2001; Knafo, 2003; Kohn, 1983; Urban & Singelmann, 1998). Intrafamilial processes of value transmission do not take place in an isolated family-only environment but rather in a specific societal context. All members of the family are in permanent contact with this context through peers, mass media, schooling, or work groups. As such, context effects can proceed from the educational system, the socioeconomic situation, or the societal value climate.
There are a growing number of studies dealing with context effects on intergenerational transmission. Urban and Singelmann (1998) define the context implicitly as the amount of variance of the child's values that is not explained by the father's and the mother's values. Other studies deal with context more explicitly. Knafo (2003) analyzes how parents' attitudes – in interplay with the school environment – influence children's values. His findings suggest that a stronger value transmission pertains in high-fit contexts – that is, when parents share the values of the children's school environment. Knafo explains this as follows: A high fit between the educational ideology of parents and the school environment leads to less value conflict within the family.
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