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Society and Economy
Ágnes Hofmeister Tóth
Léna Simányi

The nature and structure of values is a topic of continuous interest in marketing. Contemporary marketers recognised that values are criteria for sorting out the options and for implementing a certain mode of behaviour rather than others. Values are learned during the purely human process of socialisation, along with cultural classifications of reality and cultural code of behaviour.  According to Rokeach (1973) some values are relatively permanent, but others undergo continuous change. In Hungary, the transformation from the socialist system to market economy has opened the country to the West and triggered major changes: political and consumer freedom, privatisation and an increased level of information. The citizens of Hungary were to cope with the new economic system, adopt the norms and the logic of market economy, but they were, however, subject to the legacy of the old system and to the trauma of its displacement. The values in transition are of particular interest to marketing professionals because they often create or change the size of market segments for products or cause changes through advertising, product range or service offering. The objectives of this paper is first to give an overview of the literature on values research and their measurement, with special attention given to theories of values in transition, second to demonstrate the main results of our longitudinal research into changing values, and finally to present our attempt to develop a new instrument for monitoring and tracking the changes in consumer values, which, in turn, affect consumer attitudes and behaviour.

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