BERLIN, Oct. 6 (Xinhua) -- A large majority of German far-right party Alternative for Germany (AfD) voters have critical views about modernization, a study published on Friday by the Bertelsmann Foundation, a think tank promoting reform and entrepreneurship, says.
According to the analysis of the recent federal elections in Germany by the Gueterslohe-based organization, a new political divide has emerged in the country between groups who oppose and support modernization.
While party identification and voting behavior were largely tied to socio-economic concerns, voters were increasingly motivated by more socio-cultural concerns such as migration and traditional values.
The rise of the populist AfD is highly symbolic of this trend, according to the author of the study, Robert Vehrkamp. Two-thirds of AfD supporters are classified as being "skeptical of social and cultural modernization."
This has set the AfD apart from other German parties, where the majority hold favorable views on modernization.
Study co-author Klaudia Wegschaider noted that the AfD succeeded in mobilizing voters across socio-economic divides with this characteristic, making inroads both into the "precarious" segment of low-income households (28 percent voter share), as well as the more affluent "bourgeois middle class" (20 percent).
The study was based on the use of the "Sinus-Milieus", a model devised by the Sinus Institut, which specializes in psychological and social science research and consulting. The Sinus-Milieus categorizes people according to their lifestyles and values.
Additionally, the authors commissioned opinion research organization YouGov to survey 10,300 respondents shortly after the September 24 elections.
The AfD performed better than expected in Germany's national vote, securing an electoral share of 12.6 percent and thereby becoming the third largest party in the new parliament, the Bundestag.