“A vestige of tradition” in Orange County

One common view of California from the Heartland/Midwest/flyover county is that it is a liberal state that leads the way in many social problems. But historically, Orange County has been a bastion of conservatism (see Suburban Warriors about the rise of political conservatism in Orange County after World War II) and can still be considered conservative today even with an influx of immigrants:

Analysts, however, say the county’s loyalty to convention is not due to a push to maintain its image as a pillar of social conservatism. Instead, they point to the bustling Latino commercial districts in Santa Ana, the Vietnamese American coffee shops in Garden Grove and the halal butchers in Anaheim — to an influx of immigrants who have imported the old-fashioned family structures of their homelands.

Orange County’s ethnic enclaves are founded on religious and cultural values that include strong family ties, said Jack Bedell, a sociology professor at Cal State Fullerton…

Orange County, home to 3 million people, has the lowest percentage of single-parent households of any county in Southern California, according to a Times analysis of U.S. Census Bureau figures, as well as the lowest percentage of households occupied by opposite-sex unmarried couples.

It also has one of the lowest percentages of same-sex households and has retained one of the highest percentages in the region of nuclear-family households — those with a married man and woman who are raising children under age 18.

The article suggests that traditional family arrangements are declining in Orange County, just at a slower rate than other places. What I find most interesting is that the article makes no reference to political parties but rather stresses moral values or “family values.” How do “family values,” particularly among immigrants, match up or conflict with “social values”? Do these immigrants vote more for Democrat or Republican candidates?

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