Influences on Political Attitudes: Class, Religion, Party and Activism

  • Ian Budge
  • Cornelius O’Leary


CARRYING on the analysis of class and religious manifestations in Belfast, we are interested here in estimating the relative pull of class and religious feelings when these are compared directly. This analysis forms the first section, below. The comparative influence of class and religion can also be estimated indirectly, through their effect on a wide variety of preferences, perceptions and attitudes, at both activist and popular levels. The attitudinal investigation is also capable of showing whether the party divisions already examined are carried over into political outlooks and whether councillors as a group share preferences and perceptions which set them apart from the population. In the second section of the chapter, therefore, we shall compare the mutually independent effects of class, religion, party and activism (i.e. the councillor-resident distinction) over a wide range of attitudes.


Political Attitude Political Knowledge Religious Identification Religious Characteristic Religious Feeling 


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  1. 2.
    For a summary and discussion of such ideas see Ian Budge, Agreement and the Stability of Democracy (Chicago, 1970), Chapter 1.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Ian Budge and Cornelius O’Leary 1973

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ian Budge
    • 1
  • Cornelius O’Leary
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of GovernmentUniversity of EssexUK
  2. 2.Department of Political ScienceThe Queen’s University of BelfastUK

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