Chapter 7- Political Culture 16/12/2012 10:08:00 AM
Political culture: denotes „the sum of the fundamental values, sentiments
and knowledge that give form and substance to political processes‟, It can be
understood as either the sum of individuals‟ attitudes or as an attribute – the
culture – of a group which gives shared meaning to political action.
Almond and Verba found the source of a stable democracy in what they
called a civic culture.
Civic culture: In a civic culture, many citizens are active in politics but a
passive minority serves to stabilize the system, preventing it from
overheating. Further, participants are not so involved as to refuse to accept
decisions with which they disagree. Thus the civic culture resolves tension
within the democracy between popular control and effective governance: it
allows for citizen influence while retaining flexibility for the government.
4. Hague and Harrop point to two key criticisms of the study of political
1) Its focus on the national level often led to vague conceptions of
national culture and blinded researchers to the importance of
subcultures of race and class; and
2) It did not pay enough attention to the origin and development of
political culture but often took them a