A study asks: “DO PEOPLE BECOME MORE CONSERVATIVE AS THEY AGE?” It
focuses exclusively on America but its findings would seem to have universal applicability. If correct, they’d also have predictive value, especially when it comes to the question:”Is it possible, in a given nation, to reverse undesired socio-political change?”
…While there is some evidence that today’s seniors may be more conservative than today’s youth, that’s not because older folks are more conservative than they use to be. Instead, our modern elders likely came of age at a time when the political situation favored more conservative views….In fact, studies show that people may actually get more liberal over time when it comes to certain kinds of beliefs.
The findings above “work” better than the sterogypical theory in answering certain questions: Why is the older white generation in the USA so much more conservative than everyone else? In the Middle East why do advocates of major change face such potent and violent resistence? Why is it likely that change will take longer? Is the impulse to change permanent or transcient? Is repression more likely to encourage change than succeed in repressing it?
The study does ignore other factors which clearly effect how conservative or open minded we become later. In any society people who are married or religious tend to be more conservative. Those with higher education tend to be more liberal though it varies with one’s field of study. But in comparing age cohorts some of these factors even out.
In one or more subposts I’d like to look at the implications of this theory for the USA, Iran and the Middle Eat.