Date of Award

Winter 1993

Project Type


Program or Major


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

First Advisor

Lawrence Hamilton


This study examines opinions and attitudes of high school age youth living in the Shetland and Orkney islands and explores aspects of rapid growth associated with North Sea oil development. Only a minimal amount of research regarding post-impacts and rapid growth appears in the literature. Studies that do exist lack in theory and methodological consistency. This study draws ideas from mainstream sociology, Social Impact Assessment (SIA), Quality of Life (QoL) and Inglehart's materialism/postmaterialism to develop a working theory of social values and rapid growth. This study further reviews and applies six methodological considerations useable in future SIA, QoL, or boomtown research.

The results of this study are consistent with the notion that materialism/postmaterialism constitutes an identifiable, internally consistent, and continuous dimension. This study also investigates the complex ways postmaterialism varies. Results further indicate that historical, planning, and policy differences played an important role with island youths regarding their social values and manifestations of social solidarity and anomie.