This thesis investigates the change of value patterns in Switzerland during the last 25 years with a main focus on regional mentalities. The theoretical part explains how the
growth in individual decision-making options has led to an increased importance of values and mentalities in structuring personal life as well as the shape of society. The various factors that Norbert Elias has subsumed as «Civilizing Process» are resulting in a differentiation of value patterns. It is shown that the process of value differentiation consists of two sub processes that are leading to a two dimensional value landscape.
The empirical analysis is based on the results of Swiss popular referenda. These frequent popular referenda (approximately 9 every year) on specific political issues
provide a high-resolution picture of the geographical variety of political mentalities.
In order to analyze this data, a new method of time interpolation was developed. The empirical analysis shows that traditional differences in regional mentalities have faded in recent years. On the other hand the findings suggest that the landscape of mentalities has further diffentiated within urban areas. Increased mobility and the pluralizationof lifestyles lead to an urban landscape where people segregate themselves according to self-similarity.