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Right-Wing Authoritarianism

Right-Wing Authoritarianism

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Right-Wing Authoritarianism

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  1. Right-Wing Authoritarianism Bob Altemeyer

  2. Theory • Set aside ( but didn’t reject ) psychodynamic theory of repression  projection  displacement • Adopted “social learning theory”

  3. R.W.A. Components • Authoritarian submission • Conventionalism • Authoritarian aggression

  4. 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.

  5. Conventionalism A high degree of adherence to the social conventions that are perceived to be endorsed by society and its established authorities.

  6. Authoritarian Aggression A general aggressiveness, direted against various persons [out-groups or deviants], that is perceived to be sanctioned by established authorities.

  7. RWA Scale Items • Life imprisonment is justified for certain crimes. • It is important to protect the rights of radicals and deviants in all ways. 6. Gays and lesbians are just as healthy and moral as anybody else. 9. The real keys to the “good life” are obedience, discipline, and sticking to the straight and narrow. 14. There is no “ONE right way” to live life; everybody has to create their own way. 15. Our country will be destroyed someday if we do not smash the perversions eating away at our moral fiber and traditional beliefs.

  8. RWA Scale Items – con’t 21. What our country really needs is a strong, determined leader who will crush evil, and take us back to our true path. 25. There is nothing wrong with premarital sexual intercourse. 30. Obedience and respect for authority are the most important virtues children should learn. 31. Nobody should “stick to the straight and narrow.” Instead, people should break loose and try out lots of different ideas and experiences. 34. The facts on crime, sexual immorality, and the recent public disorders all show we have to crack down harder on deviant groups and trouble-makers if we are going to save our moral standards and preserve law and order.

  9. Factors predicting high R.W.A. • Family background: • Strong conventional religious orientation • Use of physical punishment • Limited personal experience with people unlike one’s self

  10. Factors predicting R.W.A. • Education lowers R.W.A. scores • Especially among initially high-scorers • Parenthood raises R.W.A. scores • 80s were period of higher R.W.A. • Social crises raise R.W.A.

  11. R.W.A. Correlations • Acceptance of gov’t violation of rights r = .50 - .60 • Agreement with attack on bill of rights r = .40 - .50 • Indifference to human rights violations r = .60 - .70 • “Possee against radicals” scale r = .40 - .50 • “Rambo-like crusade” against drugs r = . 37 • Length of sentences for criminals r = .40 - .50 • [ but gave lighter sentences to policeman who beat protestor; and to officer who massacred Vietnamese ]

  12. R.W.A. Correlations – con’t • Scales of ethnocentrism r = .40 - .50 • Homeless are “lazy” nor “unlucky” r = .40 - .55 • Christian orthodoxy scale r = .40 - .60 • Traditional gender roles r = .60 - .80 • Sex -- percent virgins high RWA 60% - 70% low RWA 30% - 40% • Attitudes toward homosexuals r = .60 -.70 • Right to life r = .40

  13. R.W.A. Correlations – con’t • Conservative political parties (including Communists in Russia) r = .20 - .40 • Canadian provincial legislators (right vs. left) r = . 87 • California legislators (cons. Vs. liberal) r = .54 • Opposition to environmental movement r = .54

  14. Some Related Theories&Recent Research

  15. G. Lakoff: Political Metaphors • Family serves as metaphor for society • “Strict Father” family  Ethic of Strength • “Nurturant Parent” family  Ethic of Care

  16. Left Primed to identify with the weak as “victim” of injustice Feel “pity” when see an adult cry Right Primed to condemn the weak as morally inferior “loser” Feel “disgust” when see an adult cry S. Tomkins:Emotional bases of Ideology

  17. J. Jost:Insecurity & Conservatism Economic or political insecurity  attitudes shift to conservative, nationalistic & prejudiced

  18. “Terror Management” Theory Mortality made salient (primed by images, words)  attitudes shift to conservative, nationalistic & prejudiced

  19. Disgust and Attitudes Disgust made salient (primed by words, imagery, scents)  attitudes shift to conservative, nationalistic & prejudiced

  20. K. Stenner: Authoritarian Dynamic • Predisposition to seek in-group authority, uniformity, & conformity • In conditions of social & normative security  “relaxes,” becomes latent • Person may hold “liberal” views • In conditions of social insecurity & norm conflict  “activated,” becomes manifest • Racial, political & moral intolerance