This study analyses the relevance and the meaning given by Italians to the political labels ‘left’ and ‘right’ between 1975 and 2006. Based on responses to the open-ended question ‘What do you mean by “left/right” in politics?’, the study compares five alternative hypotheses on the meaning of the left-right axis and show that, despite the alleged end of ideologies, the relevance of the axis has increased over time. A core of abstract meanings persists throughout the thirty-year period considered. As the importance of abstract meanings has increased over time, reference to more concrete contents (such as ‘parties’ and ‘leaders’) has decreased. The findings thus support the hypothesis that the left-right axis has the functional characteristics of social representations.

Between ideology and social representations: Four theses plus (a new) one on the relevance and the meaning of the political left and right

CORBETTA, PIERGIORGIO;
2009

Abstract

This study analyses the relevance and the meaning given by Italians to the political labels ‘left’ and ‘right’ between 1975 and 2006. Based on responses to the open-ended question ‘What do you mean by “left/right” in politics?’, the study compares five alternative hypotheses on the meaning of the left-right axis and show that, despite the alleged end of ideologies, the relevance of the axis has increased over time. A core of abstract meanings persists throughout the thirty-year period considered. As the importance of abstract meanings has increased over time, reference to more concrete contents (such as ‘parties’ and ‘leaders’) has decreased. The findings thus support the hypothesis that the left-right axis has the functional characteristics of social representations.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/76784
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