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POLITICAL CULTURE Fundamental Values, Sentiments, & Knowledge.

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Presentation on theme: "POLITICAL CULTURE Fundamental Values, Sentiments, & Knowledge."— Presentation transcript:

1 POLITICAL CULTURE Fundamental Values, Sentiments, & Knowledge

2 ► Action from thinking and believe ► How do the ideas and believes appear in our minds?  Critical examination of reality (thinking for oneself)  Influence of others’ opinions (family, education, media) ► What do the ideas and believes influence our minds?  Some forms of teaching imprison the mind  Others liberate the mind enabling it to think critically ► Mind control – a much more effective method? ► Two main concepts about the role of ideas in politics  Political ideology  Political culture Role of Ideas in Politics

3 ► Both are belief systems made up of cognitions, values, emotions ► Unlike ideology, culture is transmitted by system’s socialization process ► Ideologies reflect intellectual efforts, often identified with individuals; political culture relates to the actual values, attitudes of beliefs that most people hold in various societies Ideology vs. Political Culture

4 ► Frames the context in which politics occurs (culture defines interests and how they are to be pursued) ► Links individual and collective identities ► Defines group boundaries and organizes actions within and between them ► Provides a framework for interpreting the actions and motives ► Provides resources that leaders and groups use as instruments of political organization and mobilization Concept of Culture Concept of Culture

5 ► Political Culture is constituted by the cognitions, values, and emotional commitments that the population of a collectivity brings to the process whereby scarce values are allocated. ► Elements of Political Culture  Cognitions = empirical beliefs (how things are). Example: "A market economy is more productive than a planned economy.“  Values = normative beliefs (how things ought to be). Example: Individual liberty should be the most important thing.“  Emotional commitments = positive and negative feelings (affect) Political Culture

6 ► Liberty ► Democracy ► Political equality ► Individualism ► Justice and the rule of law ► Capitalism and free enterprise ► Nationalism, optimism, and idealism (e.g., “The American Dream”) American Political Culture American Political Culture

7 ► Collection of shared attitudes of many different people relating to politics, public issues, or making of public policy ► Shaped by political culture & political socialization ► Can be analyzed according to distribution (physical shape of responses), intensity (how strongly), and stability (how much changes over time) ► Consensus occurs when general agreement on issue ► Opinion that is strongly divided between 2 very different views is divisive opinion. Public Opinion

8 ► Political Culture is broader than public opinion and functions as a frame which constrains acceptable political action and discourse. ► Political Culture is relates to deep-seated values and it is more enduring, stable and cross-generational. ► Both measure people’s feelings ► Public opinion reflects short-term outlooks (increase defense spending or cut taxes) change far more quickly. Political Culture vs. Public Opinion

9 ► Most reliable measure is public opinion poll ► Random Sample  Everyone has equal chance of being included  Only need 1200-1500 regardless of size of population  Self-selected/straw polls NOT accurate ► Carefully Worded Questions  No bias and clearly differentiates alternatives ► Actually Seeks the Truth  Advocacy and ‘Push Polls’ ► Polls just a snapshot and may be wrong!!! Measuring Public Opinion

10 ► Race and ethnic differences ► Religious differences ► Gender ► Social and economic differences ► Regional differences (urban/suburban/rural) ► Issue framing Factors Influencing Public Opinion

11 ► In this model citizens have no cognitive orientations toward the political system. ► Societies characterized by this type of political culture do not expect anything positive of government, nor do they expect to participate in politics because it is seen as the elite domain. ► Furthermore, the government is seen as the enforcer of its own rules and consequently, the realm of politics is seen as one to be avoided whenever possible. Parochial Culture

12 ► In this model citizens have cognitive orientations toward only the output aspects of the system. ► This tends to be manifested in a citizenry that expects positive action from government, but that does not tend to be politically active themselves. ► They, too, see politics as an elite domain only to be engaged in by those with power and influence. Subject Culture

13 ► In this model citizens have cognitive orientations toward both the input and output aspects of the system. ► Societies which possess this type of political culture tend to have citizens with high expectations of government and of personally participating in politics, if at no other time than voting in an election. ► This type of culture is central to the principles of any democratic society. Participatory Culture

14 Critique of Conventional Theories ► A challenge to Weber's Protestant Ethic and earlier theories that looked at the 'right' cultural attitudes and beliefs as necessary conditions for economic progress. ► The general explanatory value of political culture (e.g., mass political behavior) is limited. ► The political culture approach needs to be re-evaluated in institutional terms that more directly acknowledge the role of political considerations in explaining performance. “A Renaissance of Political Culture?” Jackman & Miller, 1996

15 Arguments: ► Institutional performance does not depends in any appreciable manner on cultural traditions. ► Our results indicate that the cultural accounts of political life are substantially overstated. ► No systematic linkage between the measures of culture and subsequent economic growth in industrial democracies. ► No causal inferences implied by the cultural account from the observed correlations between "culture" and "democracy.“ ► Institutions (political, social, and economic) structure the distribution of incentives for individual action. “A Renaissance of Political Culture?” Jackman & Miller, 1996

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