ISSN: 1648 - 4460

International Journal of Scholarly Papers


Transformations  in
Business & Economics

Transformations in
Business & Economics

  • © Vilnius University, 2002-2006
  • © Brno University of Technology, 2002-2006
  • © University of Latvia, 2002-2006
Cultural Needs of Lithuanian Inhabitants in the Context of Global Consumer Culture
Irena Alperytė

ABSTRACT. This paper analyzes cultural needs of Lithuanian inhabitants in the ever-changing political, social and economic environment of the country. When exploring human needs for leisure activities it is vital to consider the general notion of leisure. Leisure implies some space providing humans with individual choice of self-advancement and self-expression.

However, certain circumstances, habits or other factors often determine this choice. Therefore, these choices are reflecting on certain moral orientation of the citizens. The term “McDonaldization” suggested by researcher Ritzer in 1993 might soon be transferred on culture, extending Weber’s concept of rationalization (The McDonaldization of Society - An Investigation into the Changing Character of Contemporary Social Life. (Published 1993, Pine Forge Press). Modern shopping malls in Lithuania claim to substitute classical cultural values, manifesting even in the supermarkets’ titles (the Akropolis, the Ermitažas or Europa).

In 2004, the Lithuanian Ministry of Culture conducted a research dedicated to cultural needs of Lithuanian inhabitants. The research confirmed that cultural needs among the Lithuanian inhabitants take the third position in general leisure activities – 13%), where the second position is taken by communication with friends – 16%), thus, the leading position was left for their families – 36%). A very interesting trend that the research underlined is that, in Lithuania, culture is more important to women. Cultural needs here greatly depend on age, too. People in their 30s to 50s dedicate majority of their spare time to their families, whereas younger people spend most of their time with friends or for entertainment.

Important factors are also education, geographic location, and income of the inhabitants. The conclusions that researchers come along are as follows:

  • Cultural activities comprise an important component of the leisure; however, the needs for them vary among different social groups. Women and middle-aged people are more sensitive to culture. The elderly spend less time for culture in Lithuania.
  • Inhabitants of big cities spend less of their spare time at home.
  • Financial restraints are considered as the most serious in fulfillment of cultural needs for the Lithuanian population, whereas lack of attractive cultural events takes the second place.
  • The least satisfied cultural needs are found among population under 40.
  • A very important role of cultural workers can be observed in the rural areas of Lithuania. More than a half of the inhabitants of rural areas are not satisfied with cultural services there, whereas, among urban inhabitants this number of the under-served reaches only 20-30%.
  • Rural areas have the least number of cultural institutions that could fulfill the needs of their inhabitants.

The paper discusses possible transformations of the traditional cultural needs of the Lithuanian inhabitants towards the “modern” or global consumer culture and threats of losing their „European“ identities.

KEYWORDS: cultural needs, global consumer culture, marketing, leisure and recreation management, Lithuania.

JEL classification: Z11, M31, L82, P2.

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Scholarly papers Transformations in Business & Economics
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