Sokolshchik L. M. The rise of social conservatism in the USA (the 1970s – 1980s) (.pdf)


The essay describes the first stage of the evolution of the social conservative movement and its ideology. The analysis of a social and political situation in the USA of the last quarter of XX century is presented. The paper gives valuable information on the main factors of the formation of social conservatism. The rise of social issues in the late 1960s and early 1970s, connected with the student movement, counterculture and sexual revolution, is under investigation. A brief characteristic of the post-World War II Marxist theory and its influence on the appearance of the social conservative agenda is presented. The leaders’ role in the processes of the political mobilization of the Christians and in the articulation of their political claims is explored. The author presents political polarization on abortion right, homosexual rights, traditional and family values between liberals and conservatives and draws attention to the social base of the social conservative movement. The role of social conservatives in the 1980, 1984 and 1988 presidential elections is spoken in detail and the specific characteristics of social conservatism as a political ideology are examined.


Key words: American conservatism, Social Conservatism, the Republican Party, social issues, political polarization.


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