Presentation on theme: "Beliefs in politics Political significance of Beliefs Values Ideology Values vs. attitudes, traits, norms, needs Origins and functions Ideology Ideological."— Presentation transcript:
Beliefs in politics Political significance of Beliefs Values Ideology Values vs. attitudes, traits, norms, needs Origins and functions Ideology Ideological mentality Ideologism vs pragmatism
Defining function of political life The authoritative allocation of values David Easton, The Political System (1953) Authoritative When people feel they must or ought to obey it Allocation Distribution, regulation Values Changing or maintaining citizens attitudes expressing values Distributing things that are valued Settling what ought to be valued
Values What values are not Attitudes Favourable or unfavourable evaluations of an object Less central to issues of personhood, more directly implicated in behaviour Traits Fixed aspects of personality, dispositions, positive or negative Suggesting less cognitive control over actions than values do Norms Situation-based, group-level phenomenon, normative pressure Capture an ought sense, whereas values capture personal or cultural ideal Needs Biological influences Values: socially acceptable, culturally defined ways of articulating needs
Definitions of values A value is a conception, explicit or implicit, distinctive of an individual or characteristic of a group, of the desirable, which influences the selection from available modes, means, and ends of actions. (Kluckhohn 1951) Emphasizing action enduring beliefs that a specific mode of conduct is personally or socially preferable to an opposite or converse mode of conduct or end-state of existence (Rokeach 1973) Giving meaning to action evaluative beliefs that synthesize affective and cognitive elements to orient people to the world in which they live (Marini 2000)
Where do values come from? Biology Adaptive significance Race/ethnicity/gender Symbolic identities Social structure Occupational conditions (creativity vs. conformity?) Value transfer Religion Religiosity rather than denomination matters National cultures pan-cultural baseline ranking of values Individualism vs. collectivism Materialist vs. postmaterialist values
What do values do? Motivation Rationalizing prior conduct Weak link between values and concrete behaviour Values are truisms (self-evident and rarely assessed) Require relevance and activation The self Values form core of personal identity Self-monitoring, balancing attitudes between values and situational pressures Psychological well-being, depending on congruence between individual values and those emphasized in social environment
Political significance of values Values = beliefs Beliefs = ideas that are no longer thought (Sartori) Ideologies No longer fall under the jurisdiction of logic and verification Conversion of ideas into social levers Persuasive treatment of ideas leading to action-oriented ideals Values serve to adjust and justify behaviour Internal guidance Ideologies serve to mobilize and manipulate External control
Ideological mentality Belief systems Political, religious, philosophic, scientific, etc. Not all political belief systems are ideological Ideology: a particular state/structure of political belief systems Ideologism is the polar-opposite to pragmatism Both are states of belief Pragmatism is not belief-less Beliefs are not by nature ideological Closed vs. open mind Rationalism vs. empiricism Deduction vs. evidence and testing Doctrine vs. practice Principle vs. precedent Ends vs. means Indirect vs. direct perceptions
Anti-ideological bias? Ideological closedness is bad and pragmatic openness is good only according to an intellectual yardstick – and one could well say an intellectualistic prejudice (Sartori) Efficacy Reliance on absolute authorities simplifies decision-making role of cues (like ideology, trust) in voting Comprehensiveness Low practical problem-solving flexibility High theoretical problem solving ability
Cognition and emotion Ideologism vs. ideological passion Effectiveness of ideology Requires ideological heating Politics as a matter of faith Decline of ideology?
Elites and publics (according to Sartori) Mass belief structures assumed to be Less differentiated than elite belief structures Forensic beliefs (elites) vs. latent beliefs (public) Elites vary in their ideological intensity Between ideology and pragmatism Arousal of mass publics Pragmatism translates into indifference Ideologism translates into intolerance
Ideology and mass manipulation Mass publics are hetero-constrained, poorly articulated believers, requiring guidance Ends-oriented, abstract, comprehensive belief systems Require elite interpretation Facilitate elite control The more ideological the political process is, the more potential for mass manipulation Purpose of ideological politics Politics varies between matters of faith and practicalities
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