chapter  6
The paradox of global social change and national path dependencies
Life course patterns in advanced societies
ByKarl Ulrich Mayer
Pages 22

By 1989, that issue was settled (Zapf 1996). The idea that one could distinguish two major pathways of development – the modernization of Western liberal democracies in contrast to the development of state socialist societies – had collapsed. But if – with some minor remaining doubt in regard to China – socialism could not represent an alternative developmental goal and trajectory, then the assumption that advanced societies could be grouped together as changing in a broadly similar manner regained strength.