Social conservatism

Social conservatism is the belief that society is built upon a fragile network of relationships which need to be upheld through duty, traditional values and established institutions.[1] This can include moral issues.[2] Social conservatism is generally skeptical of social change, and believes in maintaining the status quo concerning social issues such as family life, sexual relations, and patriotism.[3]

Social conservatism encompasses a range of what may be thought of as reactionary positions on social issues.[4] It developed as a reaction to what was perceived as dangerous tendencies within the liberal movements toward political radicalism and a wholesale rejection of "traditional values".[5] In North America, since the mid to late 20th century, social conservatism arose as a response to federal action on social issues—such as LGBT rights and abortion—which members perceived as a threat to conservative values.[6][4] Social conservatives also value the influence of religion in the public square, thus supporting state Churches or accommodationism, while opposing secularism and state atheism.[7][8]

Social conservatism and other ideological views

There is no necessary link between social and fiscal conservatism;[citation needed] some social conservatives such as George W. Bush[9] and Michael Gerson[10] are otherwise apolitical, centrist or liberal on economic and fiscal issues. Social conservatives may sometimes support economic intervention where the intervention serves moral or cultural aims. Many social conservatives support a balance between fair trade and a free market. 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 Katter's Australian Party, 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.[11][self-published source]

The term social conservatism is not to be confused with an economical left winged conservatism, where conservative ideas are combined with keynesian economics and a welfare state, which is practised by some european conservatives, e.g. One-nation conservatism in Britain or Gaullism in France.

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