The relevance of class in shaping authoritarian attitudes : a cross-national perspective
Faculty of Social Sciences. Sociology
Research in social stratification and mobility. - Greenwich, Conn., 1981, currens
, p. 280-295
University of Antwerp
This study provides the first thorough and cross-national assessment of the concept of authoritarianism with regard to the distinction between the working and non-working classes. This pan-European study is the first to demonstrate that, because there are no substantial differences in interpretation between the working class and the non-working class, authoritarianism scores can be compared meaningfully across the two classes. We demonstrate that the working class is more strongly inclined to authoritarianism, as suggested by Lipset. Building further upon this assessment allows a clear picture of the mediating effects of some of Lipset's presumed drivers of this relationship. Although educational levels explain a major part of class differences in authoritarianism, income level, media use and psychological insecurity play a role as well, albeit to a lesser extent. In addition to examining the underlying processes at the individual level, country-level characteristics are studied. Results show that class and authoritarianism are more strongly related to each other in richer countries than they are in relatively poor countries. (C) 2012 International Sociological Association Research Committee 28 on Social Stratification and Mobility. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.