Political philosophy Essay
To understand contemporary forms of government and their politics, it is imperative to be familiar with the organizations and functions of political institutions. It is also important to be aware of the physical and cultural dimensions within which politics operates. These external dimensions provide the environment of politics and help to shape attitudes and values which influence political behavior. Elements of the physical , democratic and economic environment of politics where discussed earlier. A server of the worlds states reveals a rich pattern of diverse cultures which have evolved through history.
The various cultures have conditions over time by factors such as geography, religion , languages , ethnicity and types of economic activity to produce wide varieties of behavior. In an engaging observation of behavioral differences. Studying cultural differences is a fascinating venture. Ina broad sense , culture includes intellectual development in many areas including art , architecture , cuisine , literature , music and politics. It delineates distinctive attributes of groups and societies , masses and elites , nations and state. Political culture is one aspects of overall culture. SUMMARY: POLITICAL CULTURE.
Refers to thebroad patternof valuesand attitudes thatindividualsand society hold toward political objects. These objects include institutions such as executive , legislative , bureaucracy , judiciary , political parties , pressure groups and also individuals view of his or her self as a political actor , and in relation to others. Political culture is one of the most powerful influences that shape a political system. It creates norms. Political therefore , always reflects the culture of a certain time and place. Political acts are embedded in the wider culture of a society and can be understood only in that context.
They reflect and exemplify society deepest-held values. Understanding political action , therefore , requires one to understand political culture. The ration able behind politics is not always self-evident. Politics is largely conducted in terms of signals , coded language and symbolic behavior. Words means different things in different cultures. The word democracy as we have seen , is a prime example. Cultureschangeextremelyslowlyoverdecadesandcenturies. Since political change generally occurs after cultural change.
A country like the united states with deep democratic roots and a traditions of a peaceful changes in the political process is unlikely to suddenly adopt an authoritarian pattern which stresses hierarchy , order , submission to authority and rule by a few is unlikely to change its political style quickly. Broadly cultural patterns persist and therefore political forms do too. The political culture of state , then , encompasses values and attitudes which pertains to its political system. These provides an invisible , overarching bond that unifies its citizens. That bond includes ideologies , values , traditions , customs , beliefs , myths and symbols. The political culture of a country is not monolithic.
It is likely a tapestry made up of many interwoven fibers or strands. One stand is composed of the values and attitudes common to all citizens of the state. HISTORICAL DEVELOPMENT AND METHODS Culturehas beenused asan explanatory variable for as long ashuman has been studying politics. The scientific field of political culture itself relatively new and was not established under that name until the 1950’s when it was introduced in the United States. These studies generally offered crude and impressionistic blanket descriptions such as Asians are inscrutable.
By the late 1950’s many political scientist had shifted their emphasis from the study of institutions to the study of attitudes – how attitudes determine government functioning. They begun to examine how political culture effects support for the community , regime and government. Unlike the impressions , stereotypes , and generalizations of national character studies , political culture endeavored to determine objectively what kind of orientations are held by which people towards which political objects and what , if any , impact this has on political stability. Aprimary methodemployedinthestudy of politicalcultureissurvey research , in which data is collected in interviews with a large “sample , or selection , of individuals.
The responses are aggregated and the researcher looks for patterns or configuration that provide the political culture of the sample. It is inferred ; using statistics , that the sample characterizes the overall political culture of the region or state from which it is drawn. It was partly historical circumstancesthat broughtpolitical culturestudies to the forefront in the 1950’s. With the end of World War II, French , British ,Dutch , Italian and the Portuguese colonies moved toward independent statehood and decisions had to be made about what kind of political forms these new countries would adopt.
Most of them foundered within a very short period and gave way to authoritarian , military or single party regimes. Gabriel Almond and Sidney Verba conducted the first such cross-national study of political culture in 1959 publishing their results in The Civic Culture four years later. Some researchers study the elites to discover what motivates them to participate politically. They may study groups such as government or cabinet members. Some elites studies even focus on the single political actor , a strategy which allows data gathering and analysis to be intensive and precise.
Other methods used to study political culture include content analysis , by which the researcher studies the content of speeches , newspaper articles , other writings and broadcasting as well as televisions clips in order to provide an empirical measures of specific attitudes or values. Also used are projective techniques , in which subjects are required to project their imagination to complete sentences or stories are often to discover the orientations people especially children. THE OVERARCHING POLITICAL CULTURES OF STATES Ideology literally is defined as “ logic of ideas “ wherein a certain person thinks or explores ideas of a certain event in a given political situation.
Moreover , Johari (2000) in his book entitled Principles of Modern Political Science stated “By ideology , he meant the science of ideas – a fresh discipline intended to be the basis of an entirely new social and political order”. It means that ideology can justify the means or status quo. Ideology is also the main contention of the government forces and belligerents. It is one of the power wielders in the contention of political atmosphere. Ideology is one part of the broader political culture.
It is important here to differentiate between the two ideology refers to an explicit doctrinal structure that provides a particular diagnosis of ills of society , plus an accompanying “ action program “ for implementing the prescribed solutions. Political culture studies are much broader; they are concerned with the views and values of citizens whether or not they embrace any explicit , formal ideology. The purpose of ideology is to mobilize and change the orientations which form the political culture when the environment is neutral or hostile , and to maintain and justify those orientations where an ideology already dominates the environment.
The traditional values and ideologies which underlie a country’s political culture are found in its history’s unique features. The roots of political thought in the United States. Throughout WesternEuropeanandNorthAmericathebasicvaluesof democracy , human rights and political freedoms are part of the political culture and often are enshrined in state constitutions. The political values of individual state are symbolized in flags , anthems , historical heroes and monuments which reinforced respect for , and emotional attachment to , political institutions. The symbols made a focal point for national unity.
Myths grow around them and are believed because they make people feel good – usually by confirming prejudices or reinforcing convictions of moral superiority. Inpre-revolutionaryUnitedStates,the liberalismof Britishphilosopher John Locke was the prevailing ideology. Locke’s ideas where based on the importance of the individual , free enterprise and the right of the individual to pursue personal interests without government interference. History , Geography , shared symbols , heroes , traditions and another facets of historical memory , along with ideology , provide the basis of relatively durable beliefs and values that set the general parameters of political behavior.
Also important to political culture are the specific attitudes or orientations of citizens toward political objects such as politicians. These attitudes may be less widely accepted than basic beliefs and values , and more fleeting , but they may be more mediate determinants of political behavior depending upon the intensity with which they are held. Orientationsorattitudes toward politicalobjectsmay be categorized in three basic types: cognitive , affective and evaluate. Cognitive orientations are based on the knowledge about political objects.
They include information an individual believes to be factual , whether the facts are correct or not. Affective orientations are based on feelings or emotions about political phenomena. They may be evoked in a person by such objects as the national such as having the opportunity to vote in an election or referendum. Evaluate orientations are based on judgments and assessments about it. POLITICAL SUBCULTURE Factors such as geography ,language ethnicity , religion andeconomic resources which help shape the political culture of a country , can also be the basis of conflicting attitudes and values.
They may help create subcultures or cultures which exist within the overarching national culture of the state. Largeandcomplexstatesarerarelymonolithic;ratherthey aremore always pluralistic. Within the framework of the larger political culture , there may exist a variety of subculture in which significant numbers of people hold distinctive values and attitudes toward political objects. There is awide spectrum of countries with gradation of pluralism. Some states consists vertically divided communities that are conscious of their distinctive identities.
The united state is one of the examples of a melting point society which is highly integrated even though it is socially complex and composed of different races and immigrant from any lands. Americans enjoy a strong sense of national identity , and unity of political outlook. Ethnic characteristics are often, but not always , bonded toa specific religion. French ancestry and roman Catholicism go hand in hand; Arabs are predominantly Muslim (all to their significant Christian population Syria , Iraq , Iran and elsewhere); Jews are followers of Judaism. Where such ethnic religious group exists inside a country hold values distinctive from the dominant social system.
Economic , socialand political development do not necessarily eliminate the negative effects of political pluralism. Often to economic disparities and revelries between group increase. This may reinforce other cultural segment present in deepen vertical cleavages. White subcultures are potentially disrupted to a country , it must be noted that there are also forces from without that can put stress on a country political culture. A relatively small country in terms of population , economic power and military strength is particularly vulnerable to pressures from larger country’s which are proximate to it.
POLITICAL PARTICIPATION AND POLITICAL CULTURE Political cultureis intimatelylinkedto apolitical participation. The term political participation applies to all political action of individuals. In Asian anthems , direct participation in political affairs of the city was deemed of essence of democracy. However even though informed participation is desirable , it is not a necessary condition of democracy. A government can take many measures to economic participation by its citizens. It can structure electoral system in order to make voting easier or even make it compulsory as in Australia.
A government canput in place of laws encouraging individuals to join political groups. Politicalcultureistheproductofthehistory ofasociety. Collective orientations are reinforced and passed from generation to generation through families , educational system , the work place , the media and various other institutions including the political system itself. The process by which political culture is transmitted and maintained , transformed or created , at both the individual and community levels , is called political socializations.
It comprises casual , informal learning from peers and family who are often considered to beprimary a gents of political socializations. It also includes both informal and overt political indoctrination by secondary sources including educational institutions , the media or other institutions. It is therefore a lifelong process. The continent and manner of political socializations is subject to debate because what may be considered proper civic training by one population or individual may be viewed by another as indoctrination and brainwashing.
Allgovernments,democratic, authoritarian,oldand newtry invarying ways to create and maintain national symbols and myths to unify the people of the state and provide a strong national identity that will promote emotional allegiance. Symbols can be a divisive force if they are not carefully designed to encompass major groups. THE FAMILY Thefamily isanimportantsocializingagentintheearly yearsofan individual’s life. It can be influential in instilling political loyalties as manifested in adult party preferences and voting behavior. Parents have to posses firm covetous in order to transmit them in the first place. Political preferences which are learned early tend to persist.
They may be held more or less strongly by individuals depending on the constancies or discontinues in their political socialization. Differences of opinion exist concerning when political learning takes place. Some psychologies, for example, emphasize the importance of the family with the regard to what is learned at a young age. Assumptions and orientations are learned during the period can become inarticulate major premises which then exercise a background effects on thought and behavior precisely because they are not made sufficiently conscious to become open to challenge. The influence of the family is disputed by Marxists , who interpret the world in terms of class struggle.
They regard the family as relatively insignificant as a socializing agent compared to adult experiences. They believe that socializing is largely a systematic and pervasive effort by middle-class elites to produce social consensus by using such as the media. EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS Acountry’s educationsystemrepresentsanimportantpathtopolitical power. In developed societies political leaders tend to be the product of a few elite universities and individuals who attain such an education are primarily from the middle class. Screening basis typically leave the working classes politically underrepresented even in countries where schools are free and open to all.
Schools are important source of attitude formation for the masses as well as the elite. In democratic societies educational curriculum is most likely to socialized political through civic training designed to produced inform, participatory citizens , in authoritarian countries it is likely to emphasize indoctrination or more overt teaching of the ‘correct’ political answers based on the specific political ideology. Apartfromthislatentsocialization,schoolsalsoattemptstoinstill specific attitudes among students.
Course material and text presents themes and points of view with the aim of having students internalize certain knowledge and beliefs. Politicalauthoritariancan,anddoinfluencethe content ofeducational materials in order to buttress their views. Sometimes the influences is openly political and sometimes it is not , but virtually all sates try to ensure that material is presented which is supportive of its politics and dominant cultural norms. The European school in Brussels is an example of an attempts to reach beyond the socialization of a single state. RELIGIOUS INSTITUTIONS.
As with educational institutions, religious institutions exercise a significant informal influence on a state’s political culture. Some, such as fundamentalist Islam is very rigid and authoritarian in their structure , organizations and teaching. Others for example, the Unitarian Church, are very flexible and democratic. Some churches are religious groups actively promote political attitudes or ideology while such teaching are quite peripheral to others. In theocratic states such as Iran and the Vatican City politics and religion are inseparable. THE MASS MEDIA Massmediaarethe mediumswhich thevery aimis toinform or to entertain.
Television, radio, computers(the internet), cellular phones and print media (newspapers, magazines, and journals) are the best sources of media. These can be also the major source how to attract customers’ even consumers in terms of business. In politics , this is the big source to attract voters and even to depose power of a status quo. Thegrowthofthecommunicationstechnology inrecentdecadeshas dramatically increased the impact of the mass media on the political culture of the state. By media we mean communication media agents of communication such as radio, televisions, newspaper, and magazines.
Televisions and newspapers in particular shape public opinion and its expression. Mass media are crucial sources of political information in most modern society, suggesting the topics citizens thin about , and often also what to think about the topics. They have enormous access to the public. By the time American children finished high school. Mediaarenotneutral. Liketextbooks andschoollessons,theyare selective in subject and content. They are used to inform and persuade. They are extinctive not comprehensive. There is little depths of coverage and stories appear and disappear as if by magic.
Allpoliticalnewsisdeliveredtothepublictrough media intermediaries- journalists and media-and they have their own basis and agenda. Sometimes major media outlets are owned by only a few members of the wealthy. In democratic countries the media are relatively free and independent. However one study has estimated that governments in more than 85% of the states of the world substantially censor their media. In authoritarian countries , such as china , sate owned networks generally mean outright control of the news , making it almost a commercial for the communist leadership.
In the country’s journalists have far less legal protection when they engage in free speech. Political leaders and parties learn how to use and manipulate the media to maximum advantage. Media exposure is vital and expert s are hired to assure that the message conveyed is the right one. Political leaders learned standard tricks to get the media coverage they seek. Announcements are carefully timed for optimum exposure and generally delivered in a carefully prepared setting with a phalanx of cameras. Leaders are taught by specialists hoe to improved their image in television.
Other specialists concentrate on producing just the right sound clips for television news. A well known example of a clever sound clip was former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s famous sound bite. The ladies not for turning. Spin doctors, too appropriate attitudes and opinion in their republic. Thescientificliteratureaboutpoliticalculturethenhasbeenconcerned primarily with the role of values in maintaining stability in democratic regimes. It is clear that norms and beliefs are central to an stability and change. Catanduanes State University College of Arts and Sciences Virac, Catanduanes WRITTEN REPORT IN POLITICAL SCIENCE 1 POLITICAL CULTURE, PEOPLE AND POLITICS GROUP 10 BY;
PANTI, MARK JOSHUA PANTI, BRIGETE MERCY ROMERO, JOHN PAUL MTH – 4:00-5:30 DR. JOCELYN SORREDA -PROFESSOR- TABLE OF CONTENT I. INTRODUCTION II. DISCUSSION A. POLITICAL CULTURE 1 . TYPES OF POLITICAL CULTURE 2. TYPOLOGIES OF POLITICAL CULTURE B. HISTORICAL DEVELOPMENT 1. Political culture and socialization 2. Stages of socialization 3. Continuity and discontinuity 4. Socializing agents 5. Elite and mass subcultures 6. The content of political cultures 7. Scope and function of politics 8. Concepts of power and authority 9. Political integration 10. Evaluating performance 11. The affective dimension of politics
12. Balance between cooperation and competition III . SUMMARY C. POLITICAL CULTURE 2 D. HISTORICAL DEVELOPMENT AND METHODS 2 E. THE OVERARCHING POLITICAL CULTURES OF THE STATE F. POLITICAL SUBCULTURE 4 G. POLITICAL PARTICIPATION AND POLITICAL CULTURE H. THE FAMILY I. EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS J. RELIGIOUS INSTITUTIONS K. THE MASS MEDIA DISCUSSION: POLITICAL CULTURE Political Culture is defined as “the set of attitudes, beliefs and sentiments that give order and meaning to a political process and which provide the underlying assumptions and rules that govern behavior in the political system”.
It encompasses the political ideals and operating norms of a polity. Political culture is thus the manifestation in aggregate form of the psychological and subjective dimensions of politics. A political culture is the product of both the collective history of a political system and the life histories of the members of the system and thus it is rooted equally in public events and private experience. TYPES OF POLITICAL CULTURE In1963, two Americans,Gabriel AlmondandSydneyVerba,outlined three pure types of political culture that can combined to create civic culture.
These three key features expressed by both men were composed to establish a link between the public and the government. The first of these features is “deference”, which considers the concepts of respect, acknowledgment of “inferiority” or “superiority” , and authority in society. The second key feature is “consensus”, which represents the key link between government and public agreement and appeasement. Support for appeasement may not always be shared by the whole nation, but as a whole people agree to sustain it, meaning it is a common agreement.
There are various “Examples of Consensus” in British political culture: how we are governed as a whole, consensus regarding the welfare state, agreement as to who acts as head of state, and with what powers. Thethird feature of British political culture is “homogeneity”. Church attendance as a whole is decreasing. Sections of the Scottish and Welsh populations have called for independence. TYPOLOGIES OF POLITICAL CULTURE Different typologiesof political culturehavebeenproposed.
According to political scientist William S. Stewart, all political behavior can be explained as participating in one or more of eight political cultures: anarchism, oligarchy, Tory corporatism, fascism, classical liberalism, radical liberalism, democratic socialism, and Leninist socialism. Societies that exemplify each of these cultures have existed historically. Gabriel Almond and Sidney Verba in The Civic Culture outlined three pure types of political culture based on level and type of political participation and the nature of people’s attitudes toward politics: ?Parochial – Where citizens are only remotely aware of the presence of central government, and live their lives near enough regardless of the decisions taken by the state, distant and unaware of political phenomena.
They have neither knowledge nor interest in politics. This type of political culture is in general congruent with a traditional political structure. ?Subject – Where citizens are aware of central government, and are heavily subjected to its decisions with little scope for dissent. The individual is aware of politics, its actors and institutions. It is affectively oriented towards politics, yet he is on the “downward flow” side of the politics. In general congruent with a centralized authoritarian structure. ?Participant – Citizens are able to influence the government in various ways and they are affected by it.
The individual is oriented toward the system as a whole, to both the political and administrative structures and processes (to both the input and output aspects). In general congruent with a democratic political structure. Almond and Verba wrote that these types of political culture can combine to create the civic culture, which mixes the best elements of each. Arend Lijphart wrote that there are different classifications of political culture: ?First classification: ?Mass political culture ?Elite political culture ?Second classification (of elite political culture): ?coalitional ?contradictive.
Lijphart also classified the structure of society: ?homogeneous ?heterogeneous Structure of society (right) homogeneous heterogeneous Political culture of elites (down) coalitional depoliticalised democracy consociative democracy contradictive centripetal democracy centrifugal democracy HISTORICAL DEVELOPMENT: Political culture is the set of attitudes, beliefs, and sentiments which give order and meaning to a political process and which provide the underlying assumptions and rules that govern behavior in the political system. It encompasses both the political ideals and the operating norms of a polity.
Political culture is thus the manifestation in aggregate form of the psychological and subjective dimensions of politics. A political culture is the product of both the collective history of a political system and the life histories of the members of that system, and thus it is rooted equally in public events and private experiences. Politicalcultureisarecenttermwhichseekstomakemoreexplicitand systematic much of the understanding associated with such long-standing concepts as political ideology, national ethos and spirit, national political psychology, and the fundamental values of a people.
Political culture, by embracing the political orientations of both leaders and citizens, is more inclusive than such terms as political style or operational code, which focus on elite behavior. On the other hand, the term is more explicitly political and hence more restrictive than such concepts as public opinion and national character. The concept of political culture can be seen as a natural evolution in the growth of the behavioral approach in political analysis, for it represents an attempt to apply to problems of aggregate or systemic analysis the kinds of insights and knowledge which were developed initially by studying the political behavior of individuals and small groups.
More specifically, the concept of political culture was developed in response to the need to bridge a growing gap in the behavioral approach between the level of microanalysis, based on the psychological interpretations of the individual’s political behavior, and the level of macroanalysis, based on the variables common to political sociology. In this sense the concept constitutes an attempt to integrate psychology and sociology so as to be able to apply to dynamic political analysis both the revolutionary findings of modern depth psychology and recent advances in sociological techniques for measuring attitudes in mass societies.
Within the discipline of political science, the emphasis on political culture signals an effort to apply an essentially behavioral form of analysis to the study of such traditional problems as political ideology, legitimacy, sovereignty, nationhood, and the rule of law. Political culture and socialization Intellectual curiosity about the roots of national differences in politics dates from the writing of Herodotus, and possibly no recent studies have achieved the richness of
understanding of such classic studies of national temperament as those by Tocqueville, Bryce, and Emerson. But the dynamic intellectual tradition which inspired political culture studies comes almost entirely from the studies of national character and the psychocultural analyses of the 1930s and 1940s. Benedict (1934; 1946), Mead (1942; 1953), Gorer (1948; 1953; 1955), Fromm (1941), and Klineberg (1950) all sought to utilize the findings of psychoanalysis and cultural anthropology to provide deeper understanding of national political behavior.
A major objection to these studies was their failure to recognize that the political sphere constitutes a distinct subculture with its own rules of conduct and its distinct processes of socialization. The practice of moving directly from the stage of child training to the level of national decision making meant that crucial intervening processes were neglected. Stages of socialization The notion of political culture seeks to retain the psychological subtleties of the earlier national character studies while giving appropriate attention to the distinctive features of the political sphere and to the intervening stages of personality development between childhood and induction into adult political life.
This is achieved by conceiving of two stages of socialization; the first is the induction into the general culture, while the second is the more particular, and usually more explicit, socialization to political life. In some forms of analysis it is useful to distinguish an additional stage, political recruitment to special roles within the political process. These stages are not necessarily sequential; explicit political socialization can occur at a very early point, when the individual is still being socialized into his general culture.
Basic to the analysis of political cultures is the investigation of the relationships between the various stages of socialization and between the final political socialization process and the dominant patterns of behavior in the political culture. In some systems there is a fundamental congruence between the content of the various socialization processes and the existing political culture. Such congruences existed historically in the traditional political cultures of Japan, Egypt, Ethiopia, and Turkey (see Ward, pp. 27–82; Binder, pp. 396–449; Levine, pp. 245–281; Rustow, pp. 171–198 in Pye & Verba 1965).
In such systems the values and attitudes internalized during the general socialization process are consistent with and reinforced by the attitudes and values stressed in the process of more explicitly political socialization; and the combined socialization processes tend in turn to support and reinforce the current political culture. Under such conditions the prospects are for the continued existence of a coherent and relatively stable political culture. Itis,however,alsopossibletodistinguishvariouskindsoftensionsand instabilities in political cultures according to the types of contradictions and inconsistencies in the socialization processes and between these processes and the requirements of the political system.
The most dramatic examples of such contradictions are to be found in revolutionary systems in which the elite political culture is either shaped by a highly explicit and unculture-bound ideology or is the product of an exogenous historical experience such as colonialism. In some societies the primary process of socialization tends to provide people with a strongly optimistic view of life and a deep sense of basic trust in human relations, while the later stages of political socialization emphasize cynicism and suspicion of political actors.
As a result, the political culture is characterized by a critical and contemptuous view of existing political practices but is also colored by a strong Utopian faith that reform can ultimately remedy the existing situation. Thus cynicism is balanced by the expectation that reforms are worth seeking. This appears to have been the character of the cynicism which inspired the muckraking tradition in American politics. The same dynamics seem to be at work in the Philippines political cult.
University/College: University of Arkansas System
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 29 November 2016
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