Defining political culture
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Defining Political Culture. Defining Political Culture. Political Culture – the collection of political beliefs, values, practices, and institutions that the government is based on. Ex.) American Individualism Ex.) American Freedom & Liberty. Determining Political Culture.

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Defining political culture1
Defining Political Culture

  • Political Culture – the collection of political beliefs, values, practices, and institutions that the government is based on.

    • Ex.) American Individualism

    • Ex.) American Freedom & Liberty


Determining political culture
Determining Political Culture

  • Political Culture can be measured through SocialCapital – the amount of reciprocity & trust that exists among citizens and between citizens and the state.

    • Ex.) Health Care Debate


6 ways to measure social capital
6 Ways to ‘Measure’ Social Capital

  • Attitudes & Beliefs of Citizens

    • Do citizens trust their government? Do they believe that the government cares about what they think?

    • Political Efficacy – a citizen’s capacity to understand and influence political events.

  • Political Socialization

    • How do citizens learn about politics in their country? Who produces it?

  • Types of Political Participation

    • Democracies = citizens vote, attend meetings, contribute money, join parties

    • Authoritarian = Subjective Activities – pay taxes, obey laws, follow military orders


  • 6 ways to measure social capital1
    6 Ways to ‘Measure’ Social Capital

    4) Voting Behavior

    • Do citizens vote? Are the elections truly fair & competitive?

      5) Level of Transparency

    • Government operates openly by keeping citizens informed & responds to citizens’ questions and advice.

      6) Social Cleavages

    • Social Cleavages - potential divisions based on social class, ethnicity, religion, and/or regional factors.


    2 types of political culture
    2 Types of Political Culture

    • Consensual Political Culture– citizens accept both the legitimacy of the government and its’ solutions to major problems.

    • Conflictual Political Culture – citizens are sharply divided, often on both government legitimacy and government solutions to major problems.

      • Cross-Cutting Cleavages – divides society into groups that conflict on one issue by cooperate on another

      • Coinciding Cleavages - every dispute aligns the same groups against each other.


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