Originally Posted by badhatharry
But here you are changing the question. You asked "Just by looking at the type of personal styles and approaches to governing and speaking, are there any patterns that you see between liberal/conservative attitudes and personal presentations, especially that have policy consequences? " and I said yes.
You also asked: Conservative and liberal citizens seem to have divergent ways they see and talk about the world. I agreed and cited Sowell who has written two books on the subject.
Now you are asking if Sowell trains his critique on his own side. Does this mean that the first questions were answered sufficiently and no further discussion is neccessary and we can now move on to whether or not Sowell is biased or more interested in partisanship and polemics? My recollection (since it's been a few years since I read him) is that Sowell points to the writings of liberal and conservative thinkers, politicians and philosophers to explain his conclusions about the two mindsets. That is how his research is done. He's not a psychoanalyst. However he does provide pretty extensive evidence that the liberal mind operates in a certain way consistently.
Well, I guess what I am interested in getting at is methodological. I had been referring to studies that had been done attempting to back up theories. Sowell's critiques might be insightful, or even completely correct, but it would be hard to say without doing studies. What I was referring to were academic, peer reviewed papers that looked at sociological phenomenon. My issue is that there doesn't seem to have been enough conservative representation.
What originally stimulated my line of questioning was harkin's dismissal of a framework that is pretty widely accepted among sociologists. Yet I am skeptical, and would like to see a more objective, methodical investigation, particularly from those who are conservative and genuinely interested in understanding the links between personality, identity, and political ideology.
I asked about Sowell to see if you think Sowell provides this, and not merely asserting theories that aren't necessarily backed up with social research. For instance, George Lakoff is someone on the left who has had considerable succees in popularizing his own theories, however I'm skeptical that the research really backs him up.
Anyway, Sowell is someone referred to again and again by conservatives as an academic to be taken seriously, so I ought to read some of his work. I'm just curious as to whether he is what I'm looking for. I wonder what he has to say about the standard sociological claims about conservatism and liberalism.