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Competing Visions of Parental Roles and Ideological Constraint

  • DAVID C. BARKER (a1) and JAMES D. TINNICK (a1)

This paper explores the etiology of ideological constraint in the United States. In an effort to gain understanding of the ideational elements of political socialization, we concentrate on a provocative new theory put forward by cognitive linguist George Lakoff. Lakoff argues that many people reflexively envision proper power relations between citizens and government based on their understanding of proper power relations between children and parents: “nurturant” visions of parental roles engender egalitarian and humanitarian political values, whereas “disciplinarian” visions of proper parenting predict political individualism and traditionalism. Using data obtained from the 2000 National Election Study, we consider the empirical mettle of this account.

Corresponding author
David C. Barker is Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15260 (
James D. Tinnick III is Ph.D. candidate, Department of Political Science, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15260.
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American Political Science Review
  • ISSN: 0003-0554
  • EISSN: 1537-5943
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