Other Free Encyclopedias » Medicine Encyclopedia » Aging Healthy - Part 3 » Political Behavior - Political Attitudes And Orientations, Voting Behavior, Organized Political Action

Political Behavior - Political Attitudes And Orientations

age differences cohort partisan age life

People of all ages are deeply divided in their ideological and partisan orientations, but these divisions do not tend to pit older and younger people against each other. Although older people are commonly thought to be more conservative than younger people, most of the evidence refutes this notion. Studies in the United States and cross-nationally generally conclude that age group differences in political values are due primarily to cultural and environmental conditions affecting a cohort's socialization, and not to universal life-course changes.

Stability in political attitudes and orientations generally increases with age, and affiliation with a political party tends to remain firm throughout life. The distribution of partisan loyalties within a cohort of young adults generally persists as the cohort moves into old age. The historical circumstances present as a cohort becomes of voting age, coupled with partisan preferences that individuals acquire from their parents, primarily determine that partisan distribution.

Moreover, many older persons tend to have stronger or more intense partisan attachments than individuals in younger age groups (MacManus). A long-standing life-course hypothesis is that the longer individuals identify with a party, the stronger their partisanship. Yet, the relative strength of partisan attachment observed among the elderly in recent decades may be due to cohort effects rather than life-course phenomena. The baby boom cohort in the United States is less identified with the major political parties than preceding cohorts at comparable ages, and this is even more the case among post–baby boom cohorts (Alwin).

Political Behavior - Voting Behavior [next]

User Comments

The following comments are not guaranteed to be that of a trained medical professional. Please consult your physician for advice.

Your email address will be altered so spam harvesting bots can't read it easily.
Hide my email completely instead?

Cancel or