Sociology Index

Political Culture

Political culture is beliefs, attitudes that give order and meaning to a political process. The term political culture has been popularized by the American political thinkers like writers like Samuel H.Beer, M. Hass, and Bernard Ulam, and the term political culture is also now used frequently to compare the different political systems. Political culture encompasses both the political ideals and operating norms of a polity. Political culture can be called the manifestation of the psychological and subjective dimensions of politics. Gabriel Almond defined political culture as "the particular pattern of orientations toward political actions in which every political system is embedded." The threat to political-culture theory is not from rational choice theory but the political culture's weakness in concept and theory.

Explaining political subculture like Úlite political culture and mass political culture from a society's overall political culture. Political culture provides the assumptions and rules that govern behavior in a political system. George Bernard Shaw said “politics is the last resort for the scoundrel”. Were he alive today, he might agree that politics is often the first refuge for the scoundrel and hate monger.

In 1963, two Americans, Gabriel Almond and Sidney Verba, outlined three types of political culture that can be combined to create civic culture. - Verba, Sidney; Almond, Gabriel (1963). The Civic Culture. Princeton University Press.

According to political scientist William S. Stewart, all political behavior can be explained as participating in one or more of eight political cultures: anarchism, oligarchy, Tory corporatism, fascism, classical liberalism, radical liberalism, democratic socialism, and Leninist socialism. Consensus represents the key link between government and public agreement and appeasement.

Appeasement may not always be shared by the whole nation, but can be a common agreement. Consensus in British political culture is about how they are governed as a whole, the agreement as to who acts as head of state, and with what powers, and consenus regarding the welfare state.

British political culture has homogeneity. The American political culture that Tocqueville described in the 1830s has changed over the years, but it has remained remarkably the same, even after the continent was settled coast to coast. Industrial Revolution and the New Deal have been expressions of American political culture. The political culture defines political attitudes, institutions, and activities that are most cherished in American political life.

In his book ‘China’s Use of Military Force: Beyond the Great Wall and the Long March’, American academic Andrew Scobell explains the concept of strategic culture as an amalgam of layers with political culture at the bottom, strategic culture forming the second, civil-military culture at the third layer, and finally the military’s organisation culture as the fourth layer on top.