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

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

factor scores for all respondents on each of the five factors back into the original data, in effect to create five new variables. These new variables then provided the data basic for the description of right-wing opinions. Briefly, Lipset and Raab proposed to organize radical opinion by crossing two dimensions-- Economic Conservatism and Intolerance. The factor analysis, it will be recalled, had given us three potential components for an ordinal representation of the latter, and one for the former. Consequently, we assigned respondents to one of five positions (categories) on an index of general intolerance as a function of their position on the anti-Negro, anti-Semite, and cultural intolerance factors as measured by factor scores. An index of Economic Conservatism was similarly derived using the single factor so named.

This typology isolated four distinct groups of people: Radical Rightists, those who had high scores on both the intolerance and economic conservative dimensions; Rednecks, those highly intolerant but not economic conservatives; the Old Guard, economic conservatives but otherwise unprejudiced; and the Consistent Liberals, those who had very low scores on both the dimensions. This typology, which corresponded to the initial theoretical differentiation of issue publics suggested by Lipset and Raab before our factor analysis became the base for their analysis in Chapter 11.


Notes
1.
See especially, R. J. Rummel "Understanding Analysis," Journal of Conflict Resolution, IX ( December, 1967), pp. 444-480; Hayward R. Alker, "Statistics and Politics," in S. M. Lipset, ed., Politics and the Social Sciences ( New York: Oxford University Press, 1969), pp. 244-313; and H. H. Harmon, Modern Factor Analysis ( Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1960). This is the most comprehensive and rigorous discussion of factor analytic techniques.
2.
H. M. Blalock, Causal Inferences in Nonexperimental Research (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1964), p. 169.
3.
Private communication.
4.
As an amusing illustration of this point, Price cites J. S. Armstrong, "Tom Swift and His Electric Factor Analysis Machine," American Statistician, XII( 1967),pp.17-21.
5.
See Harmon, op. cit., Parts II and III.
7.
"An eigenvalue is the root of the characteristic equation [R - λI] = O, where R is the correlation matrix, λ is an eigenvalue, I is an identity matrix, and the brackets mean that the determinant is being computed." Rummel, op. cit., p. 466 n.
8.
Johann Galtung, Theory and Methods of Social Research ( New York: Columbia University Press, 1969), Part II, Chapter 3. We highly recommend this chapter as a supplement to this discussion.
9.
The latter, it should be noted, had been prepared by investigators chiefly concerned with studying anti-Semitism.
10.
We do not, as we have said, believe factor analytic techniques capable,

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