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course hero 2 - of political power Certainly Steinmo and...

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Introduction to American Politics Culture or Institutions? 233 words Few Americans would argue that they believe in the following values that Lipset set forth: Liberty, egalitarianism, individualism, populism and a free market. However, the sources of these values are unclear, so we must investigate both the institutional and cultural theories, the latter of which I believe to be more important. Sven Steinmo thoroughly and convincingly explains the ‘populism’ aspect of the “American Creed,” but I believe that his institutional theory falls short of clarifying the sources of other values, which would be better attributed to a more cultural explanation. While Steinmo’s theory seems to suggest why Americans would lean towards the aforementioned values, he only does so by attributing populism to a fragmented system
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Unformatted text preview: of political power. Certainly Steinmo and his theory deserve some credit in explaining why America is different, but immigration and generational learning play a large role. In the beginning of The Godfather , an Italian immigrant says, “I believe in American,” even though he is struggling. Americans are patriotic, individualistic and strongly believe in equality of opportunity because that is what has been taught for generations, beginning with the first immigrant from any given family. While my fellow Americans and I have our doubts about the government because of the inefficiency and fragmentation discussed by Steinmo, we live in a country built on freedoms and values which will be held dear no matter how old this young country gets....
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