Class and Politics in Contemporary Social Science: ''Marxism by Dick Houtman

By Dick Houtman

Dick Houtman argues that neither authoritarianism nor libertarianism should be defined through classification or fiscal historical past, yet particularly by means of place within the cultural domain-- what he calls cultural capital. even supposing he examines all the data and arguments of the normal methods with care and situation, Houtman convincingly demonstrates that the conclusions drawn from previous stories are untenable at a extra common theoretical point. regardless of changes between advocates of sophistication factors, their theories are in line with principally exact examine findings--in specific a robust destructive courting among schooling and authoritarianism. Unobstructed by means of the conclusions those authors felt known as upon to attract from the findings themselves, Houtman configures them in a brand new method. The hypotheses derived from this new idea enable for a scientific, strict, and aggressive trying out of unique theses with no ignoring the worth of and prior learn. After demonstrating that authoritarianism and libertarianism can't be defined via category or financial history, Houtman examines the results of this argument for contemporary loss of life of sophistication debate in political sociology. He holds it to be unlucky that the relevance of sophistication to politics is sometimes addressed via learning the relation among category and vote casting. This conceals a fancy cross-pressure mechanism that motives this courting to seize the web stability of sophistication balloting and its contrary, cultural vote casting, rather than classification balloting. He argues that references to a decline in school balloting might be primarily right, yet dogmatic reliance at the relation among classification and vote casting to end up the purpose systematically underestimates degrees of sophistication balloting and produces an exaggerated photograph of the decline.

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Example text

Because that is what science is all about: replacing bad theories with others that are not as bad, and good theories with better ones. Now that I have arrived at this point, let me take this opportunity to present the reader with my answer to the questions that were posed: There is no empirical support for the notion that authoritarianism/libertarianism can be explained by someone’s economic position or background, and the importance of class in explaining voting behavior has indeed decreased, although certainly not to the extent assumed by the supporters of this proposition.

Often been seen by critics of sociology as a defining characteristic of the discipline: sociologists, they hold, reduce everything to class. 1. 1 It introduces the distinction between the two types of political values discussed in Chapter 1: economic liberalism/conservatism and authoritarianism/libertarianism. According to Lipset, the working class is at the liberal end of the former ideological dichotomy. Its members advocate economic redistribution by the state and thus reject a distribution based on the free market.

The theory of working-class authoritarianism [receives] support or not” (Grabb 1980:369; cf. Lipsitz 1965; Grabb 1979). The more the operationalization of class is based upon differences in education, the stronger the observed relation between class and authoritarianism. In fact, it is mainly the poorly educated who are authoritarian. In the new and revised edition of his book Political Man, Lipset himself notes, “A consistent and continuing research literature has documented relationships between low levels of education and racial and religious prejudice, opposition to equal rights for women, and with support of, and involvement in, fundamentalist religious groups” (1981:478).

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