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ISSN 2071-789X

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  • General Founder and Publisher:

    Centre of Sociological Research


  • Publishing Partners:

    University of Szczecin (Poland)

    Széchenyi István University, (Hungary)

    Mykolas Romeris University (Lithuania)

    Alexander Dubcek University of Trencín (Slovak Republic)

  • Membership:

    American Sociological Association

    European Sociological Association

    World Economics Association (WEA)




Has Capitalism Lost its Puritan Spirit? What do Recent WVS Data Say about Religiosity and Work Values?

Vol. 10, No 2, 2017

Veysel Bozkurt,


Istanbul University,
Istanbul, Turkey,


Has Capitalism Lost its Puritan Spirit? What do Recent WVS Data Say about Religiosity and Work Values?


Birol Yesilada,


Portland State University,
Portland, USA,






Abstract. This paper tests the arguments of social theorists about the changing spirit of capitalism in countries with different levels of economic development using the recent World Values Survey (WVS). Max Weber claimed that the Protestant Ethic was the spirit of capitalism for salvation and improved economic development in Europe. During the last 40 years, sociologists, such as Bell and Bauman, have claimed that capitalism has started to lose its puritan spirit and a new secular/hedonist personality type has emerged as the new characteristic of post-industrial/ consumer capitalism. The data show that religiosity and work values decline but leisure and self-expression values increase in knowledge economy-based post-industrial societies and late consumer capitalism has a new spirit which is the polar opposite of the Protestant ethic. However, the puritan sprit has not totally disappeared from the world but has migrated to newly industrializing societies.


Received: December, 2016

1st Revision: February, 2017

Accepted: April, 2017


DOI: 10.14254/2071- 789X.2017/10-2/9

JEL Classification: A13

Keywords: post-industrial capitalism, religiosity, work values, protestant ethic.