Social conservatism: Wikis


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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Social conservatism is a political or moral ideology that believes government and/or society have a role in encouraging or enforcing traditional values or behaviors based on the belief that these are what keep people civilized and decent. A second meaning of the term social conservatism developed in the Nordic countries and continental Europe. There it refers to liberal conservatives supporting modern European welfare states. Social conservatism is distinct from cultural conservatism which focuses on cultural aspects of the issues, such as protecting one's culture, although there are some overlaps.

The accepted meaning of traditional morality often differs from group to group within social conservatism. Thus, there are really no policies or positions that could be considered universal among social conservatives. There are, however, a number of principles to which at least a majority of social conservatives adhere. Social conservatives in many countries generally: favor the pro-life position in the abortion controversy and oppose embryonic stem cell research; support the death penalty for murder; oppose same-sex marriage and other marriages social conservatives consider the establishment of to be contrary to traditional marriage; and the nuclear family model as society's foundational unit; oppose expansion of civil marriage and child adoption rights to couples in same-sex relationships; promote public morality and traditional family values; oppose secularism and privatization of religious belief; support the prohibition of drugs, prostitution, premarital sex, non-marital sex and euthanasia; and support the censorship of pornography and what they consider to be obscenity or indecency.

Most Christian democratic parties around the world are socially conservative.


Social conservatism and economics

There is no necessary link between social and fiscal conservatism; some social conservatives are otherwise apolitical, centrist or even arguably left-wing on economic and fiscal issues. Social conservatives may support a degree of economic intervention. Many Social Conservatives support the fair market i.e. a free market with labour, social and environmental considerations. This concern for material welfare, like advocacy of traditional mores, will often have a basis in religion. Examples include the Christian Social Union of Bavaria, the Family First Party and National Party of Australia, and the communitarian movement in the United States.

There is more overlap between social conservatism and paleoconservatism, in that they both have respect for traditional social forms. However, paleoconservatism has a strong cultural conservative strain which social conservatism, in and of itself, is not necessarily allied with. John Burger, wrote in Crisis magazine in 2005: "The presence of a significant population of culturally Catholic immigrants offers hope that their culture will permeate a decadent American society and contribute to the re-evangelization of native-born Catholics... Abortion is still illegal in most Latin American countries. And in most areas, it's not even part of a person’s consciousness."[1]

List of social conservative political parties






Czech Republic


and, including far right and nationalist ideas








and, with nationalist and separatist ideas



New Zealand










United Kingdom

United States

See also


Further reading

  • Carlson, Allan, The Family in America: Searching for Social Harmony in the Industrial Age (2003) ISBN 0-7658-0536-7
  • Carlson, Allan, Family Questions: Reflections on the American Social Crisis (1991) ISBN 1-56000-555-6
  • Fleming, Thomas, The Politics of Human Nature, (1988) ISBN 1-56000-693-5
  • Gallagher, Maggie, The Abolition of Marriage: How We Destroy Lasting Love (1996) ISBN 0-89526-46 4-1
  • Himmelfarb, Gertrude, The De-moralization Of Society (1996) ISBN 0-679-76490-9
  • Hitchens, Peter, The Abolition of Britain. (1999) ISBN 0-7043-8117-6
  • Jones, E. Michael, Degenerate Moderns: Modernity As Rationalized Sexual Misbehavior. (1993) ISBN 0-89870-447-2
  • Kirk, Russell, The Conservative Mind, 7th Ed. (2001) ISBN 0-89526-171-5
  • Magnet, Myron, Modern Sex: Liberation and Its Discontents (2001) ISBN 1-56663-384-2
  • Medved, Diane and Dan Quayle, The American Family: Discovering the Values That Make Us Strong (1997) ISBN 0-06-092810-7
  • Sobran, Joseph, Single Issues: Essays on the Crucial Social Questions (1983) ISBN 1-199-24333-7.

External links



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