Chapter 8: POLITICAL CULTURE: -Political culture is an important element of our community, tradition and identity as citizens. oIt is a fundamental part of our society, one that evolves over time. oIt also helps to determine the scope of viable political options, influences politicalprocesses and public policy and shapes political views and opinions. oPolitical culture is activated by and influences political activities. E.g. the relative freedom of the media, the role of interest groups and political action committees, the impact of parties, the collective bargaining among unions and corporations and the relationship between constituents and elected officials are all profoundly affected by the prevailing political culture in a political system.-In the 1960s, political scientists Gabriel Almont and Sidney Verba proposed three distinctcategories of political culture. o(1) refers to a political culture in which citizens feel that they are removed from and have little influence over the central decision-making process of the countryo(2) Subject Political Culture, citizens are subjected to the decisions of central government without much consultation, involvement in the decision-making process, or chance of influencing results. o(3) Participant political culture and is one in which citizens play an active role in the political process, influencing outcomes on a daily basis and engaging in a constant dynamic relationship with political authorities. -Political culture matters because it forms a central part of the political environment within which citizens and political authorities at all levels behave and participate in politics. -The nature of political organization and the type of political rule, as well as other factors such as geographical region, history, culture, language, religion and relations with neighbours will all deeply affect the political culture of a nation and state. POLITICAL SOCIALIZATION: -Political socialization is the process though which individuals are educated and assimilated into the political culture of a community. oThis can happen formally and informally. -The primary agent of political socialization is family; however, other forms of socialization are signing the national anthem, pledging allegiance to the flag or learning a particular version of the nation’s history. -The importance of socioeconomic status must also be taken into account. oA person’s belief system and values will be fundamentally influenced by the economic and social opportunities available to him or her.
-It is also common for people to adopt political views that are similar to those of their peers. -Another influence on political socialization comes from one’s geographical region. oThe predominant political views of the local society will play an important role in determining what an individual comes to believe.