Chapter 13 Lecture Notes

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Political Science
POLI 100
Christopher Erickson

CHAPTER 13 LECTURE NOTES Political Culture What is political cultureIt can be defined by Robertson o The totality of ideas and attitudes towards authority discipline governmental responsibilities and entitlements and associated patterns of cultural transmission such as the education system and family lifeThe classic work in this field is The Civic Culture by Almond and Verba 1963This book was based on the premise that democratic political systems depended on a broader set of social valuesAlmond and Verba identified three possible dimensions to a political culture o Parochial groups who were barely interested in national policitcs o Subject groups which were interested in nationalo Participant groups which Believed that all three elements were present in most political societies but to varying degreesAlthough the participant category might seem an ideal for liberal democracies Almond and Verba thought that a significant subject element Difficulties with the concept of political cultureAlmond and Verba have been followed by scholars who have refined their approach in various waysHowever there are various problems o Many states actually include diverse political cultures For example in Italy there is a stark difference between the relatively dynamic north and the more traditional south o The same criticisms apply to attempts to generalize about the UK Political culture of Northern Ireland is very different from the rest of the UK o The USA is incredibly diverse as evidenced by the electoral behavior of the southern states over the last century Further DifficultiesWriters on political culture face the problem of a timelag that is attitudes formed in youth can have a significant effect many years later
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