The relevance of class in shaping authoritarian attitudes: A cross-national perspective
De Regt, Sabrina × Smits, Tim Mortelmans, Dimitri #
J A I Press Inc.
Research in Social Stratification and Mobility vol:30 issue:3 pages:280-295
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