Political culture

Political culture

Political culture can be defined as "The orientation of the citizens of a nation toward politics, and their perceptions of political legitimacy and the traditions of political practice," and the feelings expressed by individuals in the position of the elected offices that allow for the nurture of a political society [www.photius.com/countries/brazil/glossary/] .


*Kavanagh defines political culture as "A shorthand expression to denote the set of values within which the political system operates".

*Pye describes it as "the sum of the fundamental values, sentiments and knowledge that give form and substance to political process".

What is political culture?

It is a distinctive and patterned form of political philosophy that consists of beliefs on how governmental, political, and economic life should be carried out. Political cultures create a framework for political change and are unique to nations, states, and other groups. A political culture differs from political ideology in that people can disagree on an ideology (what government should do) but still share a common political culture. Some ideologies, however, are so critical of the status quo that they require a fundamental change in the way government is operated, and therefore embody a different political culture as well.

The term political culture was brought into political science to promote the American political system. The concept was used by Gabriel Almond in late 50s, and outlined in "The Civic Culture" (1963, Almond & Verba), but was soon opposed by two European political scientists - Gerhard Lehmbruch and Arend Lijphart. Lehmbruch analysed politics in Switzerland and Austria and Lijphart analysed politics in Netherlands. Both argued that there are political systems that are more stable than the one in the USA. [Lukšič, Igor (2006). "Politična kultura", p.40-42. FDV, Ljubljana. Retrieved on June 29, 2007.]

Types of political culture

Almond & Verba

Gabriel Almond and Sidney Verba outlined three pure types of political culture:

*Parochial - Where citizens are only remotely aware of the presence of central government, and live their lives near enough regardless of the decisions taken by the state.
*Subject - Where citizens are aware of central government, and are heavily subjected to its decisions with little scope for dissent.
*Participant - Citizens are able to influence the government in various ways and they are affected by it.

These three 'pure' types of political culture can combine to create the 'civic culture', which mixes the best elements of each. [Citation
last= Almond
author-link=Gabriel Almond
author2-link=Sidney Verba
title=The Civic Culture
publisher=Little, Brown and Company


By Lijphart, there are different classifications of political culture:

1. classification:
* Political culture of masses
* Political culture of the elite(s)

2. classification (of political culture of the elites):
* coalitional
* contradictive

Lijphart also classified structure of the society:
* homogeneous
* heterogeneous

The most stable political system is consociative democracy which has the heterogeneous society in which all parts of the society work together and not contradict each other. Those kind of systems are common in Scandinavia (especially Sweden).

Further reading

* Almond, Gabriel A., Verba, Sidney "The Civic Culture". Boston, MA: Little, Brown and Company, 1965.

* Aronoff, Myron J. “Political Culture,” in International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences, Neil J. Smelser and Paul B. Baltes, eds., (Oxford: Elsevier, 2002), 11640.

* Barzilai, Gad. "Communities and Law: Politics and Cultures of Legal Identities." Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2003.

* Diamond, Larry (ed.) "Political Culture and Democracy in Developing Countries."

* Kertzer, David I. "Politics and Symbols". New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1996.

* Kertzer, David I. "Ritual, Politics, and Power". New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1988.

* Kubik, Jan. "The Power of Symbols Against The Symbols of Power". University Park, PA: The Pennsylvania State University Press, 1994.

* Laitin, David D. "Hegemony and Culture". Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press, 1986.

* Lukšič, Igor. "Politična kultura". Ljubljana: The University of Ljubljana, 2006.

* Wilson, Richard W. "The Many Voices of Political Culture: Assessing Different Approaches," in "World Politics" 52 (January 2000), 246-73


ee also

* Political culture of Canada
* Political culture of Germany
* Political culture of the United Kingdom

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • political culture — The norms , values , and symbols that help to legitimate the political power system of a society (for example, in the United States, the constitution, democracy, equality, the flag). When a political culture collapses or is thrown into doubt, a… …   Dictionary of sociology

  • political culture —    Refers to culture in its political aspect. Political culture is the term given to those widely shared political beliefs, values and norms most citizens consciously or unconsciously share concerning the relationship of citizens to government… …   Glossary of UK Government and Politics

  • political culture — politinė kultūra statusas T sritis Politika apibrėžtis Vertybinė sistema, kurią sudaro visuma idėjų, normų, principų, tradicijų, papročių ir įsitikinimų, lemiančių asmenų politinę elgseną ir politinės sistemos, politinių institucijų įgaliojimų,… …   Politikos mokslų enciklopedinis žodynas

  • Political culture of Canada — Canadian political culture is in some ways part of a greater North American and European political culture, which emphasizes constitutional law, freedom of religion, personal liberty, and regional autonomy; these ideas stemming in various degrees …   Wikipedia

  • Political culture of the United Kingdom — The political culture of the United Kingdom has been described by the political scientists Gabriel Almond and Sidney Verba (1963) as a deferential civic culture. In the United Kingdom, factors such as class and regionalism [… …   Wikipedia

  • Political culture of Germany — The political culture of Germany as of the early 21st century is known for the popular expectation for governments to ensure a degree of social welfare, business and labour corporatism and a multiparty system dominated by social democratic and… …   Wikipedia

  • political culture in Singapore — Singapore is a multiethnic society, with political influence institutionally from the West and culturally from the East. On a 250 square mile island between the Indian Ocean and the South China Sea, Singapore is among the richest countries in the …   Encyclopedia of Contemporary Chinese Culture

  • political culture in Shanghai — Shanghai is China’s First City. Shanghai in the past and present holds the key to China’s transformation to a modern society. It is the first and probably the only Chinese city that wholeheartedly embraced Western ideas, practices and… …   Encyclopedia of Contemporary Chinese Culture

  • Civic political culture — A civic culture or civic political culture is a political culture characterised by acceptance of the authority of the state and a belief in participation in civic duties . The term was first used in Gabriel Almond and Sidney Verba s book, The… …   Wikipedia

  • gender-based political culture — гендерная политическая культура …   Термины гендерных исследований

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.