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A Question of Authority: Religion and Cultural Conflict in the 2004 Election

Stephen T. Mockabee
Political Behavior
Vol. 29, No. 2, Special Issue: The Iraq War and the 2004 Presidential Election (Jun., 2007), pp. 221-248
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4500243
Page Count: 28
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A Question of Authority: Religion and Cultural Conflict in the 2004 Election
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Abstract

In this study I adopt a view of cultural conflict that extends beyond the usual set of controversial "moral" issues like abortion and gay rights to include symbolic issues related to patriotism and group affect. Using a set of survey items asking about respondents' preferences in child-rearing, I create a measure of individuals' orientations toward authority that proves to be a potent predictor of attitudes on cultural issues, affect toward social groups, party identification, and vote choice. This authority effect persists even in the presence of extensive multivariate controls for demographic and religious variables. I find that both authority measures and religion measures shape political attitudes, suggesting the need for a multi-faceted approach to understanding cultural conflict.

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