Attitude Profiles and Social Positions – An Analysis of the Social Bases of Ideological Belief Systems in Europe

About this Session


Thu. 07.04. 11:00



Speaker: Florian Buchmayr Abstract: The literature on electoral competition views political conflict as a multidimensional phenomenon, distinguishing between an economic and a cultural conflict dimension. There is a lot of research on the determinants of economic attitudes as well as the determinants of cultural attitudes. However, little is known about how different attitude dimensions overlap and which social characteristics these attitudinal profiles exhibit. Using data from the European Social Survey 8, the correspondence between attitudinal profiles and social positions will be analyzed, distinguishing between three attitude dimensions: Redistribution, migration, and attitudes toward individual liberties (sexuality, abortion, etc.). The results show that the prevalence of attitudinal profiles differs strongly between regions. The combination of economically progressive and culturally regressive positions is more common in Eastern Europe, while the combination of culturally progressive positions with economically regressive positions is more widespread in Western Europe. Furthermore, the results show that attitude profiles differ not only between classes but also within classes, as different fractions – such as the economic or the cultural middle class – combine political positions differently. Thus, a multidimensional perspective on political conflicts provides a complex picture of political preferences and their social bases in Europe.