Social Dominance Orientation And Conservative Identity Politics (Pt4 in the Series)

While RWA is associated with group prejudice in various ways, that was not its specific focus.  It is the conformity with authority that is its core focus.  The willingness to discriminate against or attack members of a stigmatized group is one dimension in which this is expressed.

We now turn to a second factor that is also strongly associated with group prejudice.  However, unlike RWA, it has group prejudice as its central focus.  That factor is known as Social Dominance Orientation (SDO).  Because it, too, is correlated with political conservatism, it provides further evidence that conservatism functions as a form of identity politics, and gives further evidence of how this works.  SDO is also part of a more comprehensive theory which focuses attention on how hierarchical structures and values endure, while rationales may change--or even directly contradict what people actually believe.  This last is a crucial point when addressing the persistent fictions that "real conservatives" support balanced budgets, states rights, "judicial restraint," etc., despite repeated evidence to the contrary.

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Rightwing Authoritarianism and Conservative Identity Politics (Pt 3 in the series)

Cross-posted from Patterns That Connect.

Rightwing authoritarianism (RWA) is one of two attitudinal constructs (along with social dominance orientation--SDO) that combine to account for a majority of group prejudice, which in turn is a major aspect of group identity politics.  Both also correlate significantly with political conservatism.  RWA is defined as the convergence of three attitudinal clusters:

  • Authoritarian submission: A high degree of submission to the authorities who are perceived to be established and legitimate in the society in which one lives.
  • Authoritarian aggression: A general aggressiveness, directed against various persons, that is perceived to be sanctioned by established authorities.
  • Conventionalism: A high degree of adherence to the social conventions that are perceived to be endorsed by society and its established authorities.
As might be guessed, RWA is associated with a high degree of hostility toward outgroups, a key characteristic that correlates with findings discussed in the previous post in this series, indicating that hard core conservatism correlates with a strong resistance to power-sharing with various outgroups--blacks, Jews, Catholics, unions and women.

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Republicans Are the Ethics Problem

CREW files again, on the use of the IRS for political purposes.

Today, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) forwarded a complaint to the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct, better known as the Ethics Committee, against Rep. Sam Johnson (R-TX) for using executive branch resources, namely the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), for partisan political purposes. The complaint alleges that Rep. Johnson asked the IRS to audit Texans for Public Justice (TPJ) as punishment for the organization's role in sparking the Texas criminal investigation of Rep. Tom DeLay (R-TX).

And John Thune, former lobbyist and now Senator, was helping his former clients according to Raw Story. And Bush aides, it turns out, have ties to the Dubai firm that is buying our ports.

Is there an ethics problem in Washington?  Yes, it's called the Republican Party.

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Conservatism As Identity Politics--Pt2: Hard Core Data

Cross-posted from Patterns That Connect

"Identity politics" is a term generally associated with the politics that came out of social liberation movements of the late 1960s and early 1970s, such as black power/black liberation, women's liberation, and gay liberation. In all these movements, there was a concern with analyzing how people as a group had been oppressed, not just politically, but socially, culturally, psychologically... at all levels.  Yet, all these movements-despite being politically progressive-were necessarily a reaction to already-existing forms of identity politics that were not nearly so analytical-the identity politics of privileged groups: white identity politics, male identity politics, straight identity politics, etc.

In future posts, I will examine two attitudinal constructs-rightwing authoritarianism (RWA) and social dominance orientation (SDO)-that strongly correlate with political conservatism, and that help us understand how all these forms of identity politics reflect common underlying mechanisms.  But first, I want to present some direct evidence that conservatism involves the basic rudiments of privileged identity politics.  That is the purpose of this post.

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Conservatism As Identity Politics--Intro

Cross-posted from my new blog, "Patterns That Connect."

Backstory

Last week, Glenn Greenwald wrote an influential post, "Do Bush followers have a political ideology?", in which he argued that Bush supporters are cultists who do not possess a political ideology, but instead use the terms "conservative" and "liberal" to identify members of the cult and those outside the cult, respectively. While I agree with the vast majority of Glenn's analysis, I believed he was mistaken in one respect--the cultism is the ideology.  What's more, it is also a form of conservatism, as I argued in an initial response, "It's The Ideology, Smarty!" at My Left Wing. Here I want to expand on those remarks in a series of posts, and place them in a larger framework that draws on a variety of different disciplines and perspectives.  At the core of this endeavor is a definition of conservatism, as follows.

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Diaries

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