The Politics of Unreason: Right Wing Extremism in America, 1790-1970

By Seymour Martin Lipset; Earl Raab | Go to book overview
Save to active project

Methodological Appendix to Chapter 11

The analysis of the various issue publics or typologies presented in Chapter 11 was first formulated on an a priori ad hoc basis. That is, we assumed from our knowledge of public opinion research and political behavior that there were two very distinct sets of attitudes or ideologies which are supported by very different types of people among the general public, although they often are found together in the program of various ultra-rightist groups. These are economic conservatism, opposition to the welfare and socialist state on one hand, and cultural conservatism, including support for traditional religious values and customs, opposition to people and ideas which are different, on the other. In general, as we have pointed out in various places in the book, economic conservatism correlates with socioeconomic status, the more well- to-do tend to be most conservative. Cultural conservatism tends to be associated inversely with education, the better educated are the most liberal. Since the better educated, on the average, are much more affluent than those with lesser schooling, this means, as we have seen, that the more well-to-do tend to be more liberal on cultural issues, as defined here. Many of the extreme right-wing groups, however, are ideologically conservative on both dimensions. They tend to favor laissez faire, to be opposed to welfare state measures economically, and also to be opposed to efforts to gain equal rights for minority groups or to defend the civil liberties of Communists, atheists, and other dissident minorities. This analysis of the opinion public situation within which the ultra-right has been operating led us to assume from the start that an analysis of the propensity of different groups in the population to back such groups would require a differentiation of the electorate into groups who were economically conservative or liberal, and culturally conservative or liberal, thus ultimately producing four attitude groups or issue publics, those conservative on both, liberal on both, and the two which were liberal on one and conservative on the other. Working


Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this page

Cited page

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Politics of Unreason: Right Wing Extremism in America, 1790-1970


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 554

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?