Political studies

Political Culture: Meaning, Features, 3 Types, And Importance

by Avijit Biswas

In order to gain legitimacy, the proper management of the authority of any political system and the empathy of the people with a positive and supportive view of that authority are required. In some political systems this view is seen, but lacking in some places. Somewhere, citizens support the political system unconditionally, and somewhere they want a radical change of the political system.

To get a real picture of the political system, a proper analysis of the attitudes of the people is needed. In this context, discussion of political culture is very important to understand the attitudes and beliefs of people on their political system.

Table of Contents

What is Political Culture?

Political culture is the view, aspirations, and beliefs of most citizens of the country towards political systems. It can be said to be a psychological matter of the people. It is also the type of people’s mentality in relation to political activities, not political activities itself.

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Different types of political cultures exist among the people of different states. In this context, it is to be noted that the tradition of British citizens, the protests among French nationals and the patriotism among American citizens are strongly present. These are one of the characteristics of the political culture of those countries.

The concept of political culture is changing oriented, but this is change slowly. Persons’ perceptions change as new experiences unfold. Depending on the city-life experiences of people coming from village to city and living in the city, there are rapid changes in attitudes. But cultural attitudes or values ​​change very slowly. Hence, the attitude towards political action reflects fairly permanent aspects of political culture.

Features of Political Culture

  1. The views of the people regarding the world of politics are the subject of political culture, but not the various events organized in world politics. So it can be called the psychological dimension of politics.
  2. In the political culture, the attitude of both the political ideal and the effective system of the state is expressed.
  3. It consists of empirical concepts of political life and values that are worth pursuing in political life, and they can be emotional, perceptive.
  4. If there is a kind of attitude among the people about important political issues in the political culture, then there is political stability. It is easy to get rid of the crisis if people’s attitudes are favorable to political institutions during the crisis period of the country.
  5. Political culture does not remain unchanged. It is also constantly reorganized in terms of cultural change in society. With the arrival of foreigners to live, the revolution, the war, or any other major change can completely change the political culture of a state.

Types of Political Culture

The nature, existence, and importance of different aspects of political culture vary from one society to another. So the political culture of all countries is not one. These are classified on the basis of these questions whether members of society take an active role in political activities, expect to benefit from public dialogue, whether people can take part in government processes or know government activities.

Almond and Verba classified political culture into three types. These are:

  1. Parochial Political Culture
  2. Participatory Political culture
  3. Subject Political Culture

1. Parochial Political Culture

Generally, in the underdeveloped countries and in the traditional social system, there is a lack of consciousness and interest or widespread indifference among individuals regarding political issues.

In the context of the political way of life and the national political system, there is a strong disregard for the countrymen which leads to the formation of a parochial political culture.

To end such a culture, the need for a wide spreading of education and the spread of political communication is necessary. There are still many regions in Asia and Africa where parochial political culture can be seen.

2. Participatory Political culture

In a participatory political culture, every citizen actively takes an active role in political affairs. Individuals consider themselves an active member of the country’s existing political system.

The participation and evaluation of the individual in the traditional political system is very deep and important in such political culture. Here the individual is always aware of his rights and duties. Great Britain and USA are great example of participatory political culture.

3. Subject Political Culture

In this kind of political culture, the role of the people in political affairs is significant. The public is fully aware of the political system prevailing here and the effect of state action on their way of life.

Despite the existence of enthusiasm for political life, the people here make no attempt to influence the decision-making process. Rather, most of the government’s decisions are accepted without authority. This tendency in public affairs for public interest is attributed to this kind of inactive political culture.

Is the political culture inherited?

The individual does not inherit the political culture by birth. That means, it is not a matter of birthright. It is created within the individual through political socialization. The social and political systems in which the person is born, the particular political values ​​and attitudes that transcend the individual.

Individuals are connected with the political parties, other political organizations or institutions, the pressing groups, the state structure and its functions, within the existing political system.

In this way, the individual becomes increasingly connected and united with the symbols and values ​​of the existing society and political system. This process continues throughout the life of the individual. And this is how political culture emerges within the individual.

What is the Relation between Political Systems and Political Culture?

The interaction between the political system and the political culture is very close. There can be broad consensus among the people regarding the existing political system and its basic structure. In that case, the political system is strong and stable.

On the contrary, the structure of the existing political system, with disagreement among the people in the context of the tasks, poses a serious hostility to the political system. As a result, the foundation of that political system weakens.

Importance of Political Culture

In any country’s political system, political culture is regarded as important. The political values, beliefs and attitudes of the country or nation are reflected through the political culture. Social culture is especially important in people’s social lives. Similarly, the importance and significance of the political culture of the people is immense.

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