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Wilson Chapter 4

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Wilson Chapter 4 Political Culture – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Wilson Chapter 4


1
Wilson Chapter 4
  • Political Culture

2
Objective
  • Students will take notes and engage in a small
    group discussion in order to describe American
    Political Culture

3
Your First Political Memories
  • What are your first political memories?
  • Describe what you remember
  • How old were you?
  • Who was responsible for influencing you
    politically?
  • Was the memory positive?
  • What political party do you identify with? What
    influenced that identification?
  • What role does school/family have in your
    political socialization?

4
What is Political Culture?
  • A patterned set of ways of thinking about how
    politics and government ought to be carried out
  • It includes our fundamental assumptions about how
    the political process should operate

5
Whats the difference between Political Culture
and Ideology?
  • Political ideology refers to a more or less
    consistent set of views on the policies
    government ought to pursue
  • While culture is a much broader concept

6
What fundamental elements make up American
Political Culture?
  • Liberty- Highly important. Let people do as they
    please as long as they dont hurt others
  • Equality- to vote and chance to participate
  • Democracy- government is accountable to the
    people
  • Civic duty- Ought to take community affairs
    seriously
  • Individual Responsibility-

7
How do we know these are our values?
  • They are inferred from looking at the books we
    read, films we watch, speeches and political
    choices we make
  • Foreign observers (Like de Tocqueville)
  • Opinion polls

8
If these values are important, how do we explain
behavior inconsistent with them?
  • Humans often behave in an inconsistent fashion
    with beliefs
  • But belief acts as an agent of change, slowly
    forcing adherence to the value as people become
    aware of the inconsistency
  • The American dilemma

9
Why is there so much conflict if we share a
common culture?
  • Values can be irrelevant to specific
    controversies
  • Values can be inconsistent with one another
    Equality of opportunity may mean curtailing
    personal liberty
  • Americanisms

10
How does Political Culture affect our ideas about
economics?
  • We adopt the same five standards as with
    political systems.
  • BUT We are willing to tolerate more economic
    inequality
  • WHY? Because we emphasize Personal
    responsibility and Economic Individualism we
    opt for Equality of Opportunity rather than
    Equality of Results

11
Who differs in this opinion?
  • Civil Rights leaders and Womens rights leaders
    often stress Results more than Opportunity
  • WHY?

12
What role does Religion play in shaping Political
Culture?
  • Americans are more religious than other western
    democracies
  • At least for non elites, Americans have become
    more religious over the last two decades
  • Religion is attractive to Americans as much for
    civic significance as spiritual significance

13
Table 4.7 Religion in Industrialized Nations,
1990-1993
14
Table 4.8 American Beliefs about Faith-Based
Programs
15
Where do we get our Political Culture?
  • History
  • American Revolution as a fight over liberty
  • Declaration of Independence enshrines certain
    values
  • Thus Americans have a preoccupation with the
    assertion and maintenance of rights
  • Americans also get from our history a suspicion
    and mistrust of government

16
Figure 4.1 Trust in the Federal Government,
1958-2001
  • Source University of Michigan, The National
    Election Studies, (September 1999), table 5A.1,
    updated by Los Angeles Times, poll taken November
    10-13, 2001.

17
Where do we get our Political Culture? contd
  • The Constitution
  • The federal system with divided political
    authority provided opportunity for widespread
    participation in politics

18
Origins of Political Culture, contd
  • Religious Diversity with a dominant Protestant
    tradition
  • Led to and was a product of the Constitutional
    prohibition of a state sanctioned church
  • Protestant churches provided members with
    organizational experience as they are often
    organized and controlled by the members
  • Protestant ethic motivates civic engagement

19
How is Political Culture Transmitted?
  • The process of transmitting political culture is
    called Political Socialization
  • Primarily by the family
  • Direct dissemination of values
  • Structure of the family
  • Equality among family members
  • Greater freedom of children

20
Other means of Political Socialization
  • Religious Institutions- Structure and
    transmission of values
  • School- Through history and government classes
    and political perspectives of teachers and peers
  • Media- TV, radio, newspapers and magazines
  • Real Life Experiences- the primary influence on
    adults
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