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Attitudes to freedom and equality among Swedish and American students
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
2005 (English)In: Democracy unbound - Basic explorations, 2005, 29-43 p.Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The study compared Swedish and American attitudes towards freedom and equality and examined the perceived trade-off between both concepts in the two groups. First-year students from Stockholm University and Stanford University took part in the study. The participants ranked ordered a number of values—among them equality of opportunity, freedom of lifestyle, economic freedom, and freedom of speech—and indicated to what extent they were prepared to increase freedom in their society at the expense of reducing equality, and vice versa. The participants also indicated their preferences for different options in public policy decision scenarios. There were no significant differences in terms of value preferences between both samples. But there was a difference in terms of readiness to compromise freedom for equality or equality for freedom. Participants with very strong preferences for either freedom or equality in the Swedish sample were more likely for compromise between both values than participants with strong preferences in the US sample. Participants with moderate preferences for freedom or equality in either sample were unlikely to give up freedom for equality or vice versa. The results are discussed in the context of previous cross-cultural studies comparing political value preferences in both countries.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2005. 29-43 p.
Keyword [en]
equality, freedom, attitudes
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-13569OAI: diva2:180089
Available from: 2008-04-11 Created: 2008-04-11Bibliographically approved

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