The Generational and Social Class Bases of Pro-Democratic Culture in Turkey: A Quantitative Analysis with WVS Data

Inan M.

Other, pp.1-290, 2016

  • Publication Type: Other Publication / Other
  • Publication Date: 2016
  • Page Numbers: pp.1-290
  • Abdullah Gül University Affiliated: Yes


Political culture research focuses on the relationship between individual-level orientations and system-level institutions. Three approaches within this line of research suggest different sets of orientations that are understood to support democracy. Yet, very little is known about what underlines these pro-democratic orientations. Focusing on two potential bases, generation and social class, the present research asks: ‘What are the generational and class bases of pro-democratic culture in Turkey?’ The research tests the theoreticalpredictions of both Karl Mannheim’s theory of generations and Seymour Martin Lipset’sworking class authoritarianism thesis to examine whether there are differences in pro- democratic culture across generational and class categories. The findings do not lend complete support to either theory. The analysis reveals that Turkish respondent`s pro- democratic attitudes do not follow generational lines. However, an indirect effect of generation is revealed when social class is included in the analysis. The findings show that for those generations which have come of age under authoritarian politico-juridical orders, social classes are homogenized with respect to their pro-democratic attitudes. On the other hand, for those generations socialized under non-authoritarian governments, the findings lend support to the modernization theory’s classification of the social classes challenging that of Lipset’s theory. Three types of regression techniques are applied to cross-sectional data from the 1990, 1996, 2001, 2007 and 2011 waves of the World Values Survey (WVS) for Turkey. The overall thesis is composed of eight chapters. The first chapter introduces the main arguments and hypotheses. The second chapter gives a brief overview of the recent history of Turkey to provide the necessary background for making sense of the analysis. The third chapter outlines the theoretical framework of the research. The fourth chapter introduces the data and the methodology used for the analysis. The following three chapters present the empirical findings of the research. Finally, the eighth chapter provides a brief summary of the findings and discusses their wider implications.