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Cultural liberalism

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Button pins from the sexual revolution of the 1960s.

Cultural liberalism is a social philosophy which expresses the social dimension of liberalism and advocates the freedom of individuals to choose whether to conform to cultural norms. In the words of Henry David Thoreau, it is often expressed as the right to "march to the beat of a different drummer".[1] Also known as social liberalism in the United States, cultural progressivism is used in a substantially similar context, although it does not mean exactly the same as cultural liberalism.[2][failed verification]

The United States refers to cultural liberalism as social liberalism; however, it is not the same as the broader political ideology known as social liberalism. In the United States, social liberalism describes progressive moral and social values or stances on socio-cultural issues such as abortion and same-sex marriage as opposed to social conservatism. A social conservative or a social liberal in this sense may hold either more conservative or progressive views on fiscal policy.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Thoreau, Henry David (1854). Walden. "Conclusion".
  2. ^ Nancy L. Cohen, ed. (2012). Delirium: The Politics of Sex in America. Catapult. ISBN 9781619020962. When the going got tough, the economic progressives got going back to the Reagan days when the cultural progressives were to blame. Clinton's presidential campaign had 'signaled cultural moderation and articulated the pocketbook frustrations of ordinary people,' Robert Kuttner, editor of The American Prospect ventured. 'But in office he seemed a cultural liberal who failed to produce on economics.'
  3. ^ Chideya, Farai (2004). "The Red and the Blue: A Divided America". Trust: Reaching the 100 Million Missing Voters and Other Selected Essays. Soft Skull Press. pp. 33–46. ISBN 9781932360264.


  • Willard, Charles Arthur (1996). Liberalism and the Problem of Knowledge: A New Rhetoric for Modern Democracy. University of Chicago Press. ISBN 978-0226898452.