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Cultural conservatism is described as the preservation of the heritage of one nation, or of a shared culture that is not defined by national boundaries. Other variants of cultural conservatism are concerned with culture attached to a given language such as Arabic or Icelandic. One of the most famous conservative countries is Albania.
The shared culture may be as divergent as Western culture or Chinese culture. In the United States, the term cultural conservative may imply a conservative position in the culture war. They believe strongly in traditional values and traditional politics, and often have an urgent sense of nationalism.
Cultural conservatism is distinct from social conservatism, although there are some overlaps. Social conservatives believe that the government has a role in encouraging or enforcing what they consider traditional values or behaviors. A social conservative wants to preserve traditional morality and social mores, often through civil law or regulation. Social change is generally regarded as suspect.
In the Republic of Ireland prior to the 1980s and 1990s, cultural conservatism, in the form of support for the Irish language, Gaelic culture and Roman Catholicism, was a force of major political importance. It was associated in particular with the Fianna Fáil party.
In the US, cultural conservative may imply a conservative position in the culture wars.
An example of a cultural conservative in the broader sense is Allan Bloom (who was a political liberal), arguing in The Closing of the American Mind against cultural relativism. Another example is Senator Jim Webb (D-Virginia), author of Born Fighting.
- Criticism of multiculturalism
- Social conservatism
- Traditionalist conservatism
- Cultural conservatism, political liberalism: from criticism to cultural studies by James Seaton, University of Michigan Press, 1996 ISBN 978-0-472-10645-5, ISBN 978-0-472-10645-5
- John J. Langdale III, Superfluous Southerners: Cultural Conservatism and the South, 1920–1990. Columbia, MO: University of Missouri Press, 2012.