Presentation on theme: "Political culture Bell Ringer: Explain the term political culture. Why is it important to examine political culture as well as political institutions and."— Presentation transcript:
Political culture Bell Ringer: Explain the term political culture. Why is it important to examine political culture as well as political institutions and laws to understand a political system. Agenda: Reading Quiz Political Culture Homework: Bring textbook next class Read Chapter 5
Political culture refers to the broad pattern of ideas, beliefs, and values about citizens and government held by a population.
In American political culture, our expectations of government focus on rules and processes rather than results. We think government should guarantee a fair playing field but not guarantee equal outcomes for all players. We believe that individuals are responsible for their own welfare and that what is good for them is good for society as a whole.
Shared core values: Liberty Equality Individualism Democracy Rule of law Civic duty
Political culture Objectives: Understand the distinct set of beliefs fundamental to how most Americans think about government and politics. Analyze how political culture has changed over the past 100 years Determine how much Americans believe in civic liberty and political tolerance Bell Ringer: The U.S. political culture emphasizes the importance of civic duty. This belief has no validity unless political efficacy exists in reality. Discuss the degree to which the American public possesses a sense of political efficacy. Is the cultural value of civic duty legitimately realized in the opinion of the public? Agenda: CBM Political Culture Alexis de Tocqueville Homework: Chapter 5 Review questions Finish de Tocqueville reading
To live as a nation, citizens have to share a view of who they are, how they should live, and what their world should be like. If not… They fragment and break apart Political cultures provide coherence and national unity to citizens who may be very different in other ways. Americans achieve national unity through a political culture based on visions of democracy, freedom, and equality.
Although Americans have much in common, there are over 250 million of us. We are very different in terms of our backgrounds. Religion Education Geography Race Gender Prejudices
This causes us to have lots of different beliefs about politics, the economy, and society. This is what divides us into opposing camps. Ideologies: sets of beliefs about politics and society that help people make sense of their world. Luckily our core values about how the world should be, we can debate and resolve our differences usually without letting those differences get out of hand.
Conservatives Republicans Government control should be minimal Government can’t be trusted with too much power Government not a competent economic actor Typically wealthier, upper- middle class Liberals Democrats Government should play larger role in regulating the economy Economic market can’t regulate itself, left alone susceptible to things like recessions and depressions More likely to be lower- paid blue collar workers No successful communist or socialist parties in the U.S. Our two parties still on relatively the same spot on the political continuum.
More people CAN participate in our representative democracy now than 200 years ago. Doesn’t mean that more people DO participate. American voter turnout rates are abysmally low compared to other Western industrialized democracies. Political efficacy: the extent to which people feel that their beliefs and opinions matter and will be responded to by the government. Many Americans tend to be apathetic toward politics. “my vote doesn’t matter”. Why is this?
Elitist: doesn’t really matter whether people participate or not all important decisions made by elites. 1. Military 2. Business leaders 3. Politicians 4. Media Pluralist: Americans don’t need to participate individually because their needs are represented in government sufficiently through their membership in various groups. 1. Environmental groups 2. Labor unions 3. Professional associations 4. Religious groups 5. Veteran’s groups
But…Some say the falling levels of involvement, interest, and trust in politics signal a true civic crisis. Democracies can only survive with the support and participation of citizens. Citizens don’t trust government. Some take their freedoms for granted, assume that since they were born free, they’ll naturally remain free. We live in an age of overwhelming cynicism about and distrust in government. People don’t vote and don’t pay attention to political issues.
Question of how democratic the U.S. is a question of power. Who is likely to be a winner in the political process? Looked at this way, the question has lots to do with your life, especially as government starts to make more demands on your life. So what? PARTICIPATE!
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