A social conservative may be defined as one who regards as still valuable the ideals that have traditionally been regarded as central to the welfare of our society. Those who are socially conservative in Western society may be regarded as radical were they to promote their ideas in another society, such as Saudi Arabia.
Those who believe in social conservatism would assert that it needs to be distinguished from mere fiscal conservatism. Social conservatives deplore the waste of public financial resources, but do not make the achievement of national wealth an aim to be divorced from the goal of enabling that wealth to benefit the people as a whole.
The term "social conservative" might be used for one who holds to particular ideals but has no concept of promoting them in society at large. But generally social conservatives are conceptualized as regarding their views as worthy of being supported for the benefit of society as a whole. Thus they are concerned with the role of government, which is capable of either supporting or undermining the foundations on which society has been built.
Some of the foregoing is adapted from material written by the present writer and posted on SocialConservatives.ca .