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Political Culture


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Political Culture

  1. 1. American Political Culture Wilson Chapter 4 AP Government - Mr. Cambou
  2. 2. What is Political Culture? <ul><li>The widely-shared beliefs, values, and norms that citizens share about their government </li></ul><ul><li>A distinctive and patterned way of thinking about how political and economic life ought to be carried out. </li></ul>
  3. 3. CHARACTERISTICS <ul><li>Liberty </li></ul><ul><li>Rugged individualism (is this always the case?) </li></ul><ul><li>Equality </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Opportunity more than result </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Political more than economic equality </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>American Dream </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>FDR’s second bill of rights </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Conflict between liberty ( capitalism) and equality (democracy): Progressive Era; New Deal; Great Society </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. CHARACTERISTICS <ul><li>Democracy </li></ul><ul><li>Civic Duty (but we don’t know much about political affairs) </li></ul><ul><li>Mistrust of Government (since 1960s) </li></ul><ul><li>Political Efficacy-capacity to understand (individual) and influence (external) political events. </li></ul><ul><li>Political tolerance- in the abstract vs. concrete </li></ul><ul><li>Pragmatism - we’re less ideological </li></ul><ul><li>Justice- “government of laws, not men” </li></ul>
  5. 5. More on Justice… <ul><li>Policies and laws that adhere to the rule of law must adhere to these rules: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Generality </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Prospectivity (apply to the future) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Publicity (cannot be secret) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Authority </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Due Process </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Sources of Political Culture <ul><li>History </li></ul><ul><li>Religion </li></ul><ul><li>Family </li></ul><ul><li>What has shaped your political identity and culture? </li></ul>
  7. 7. Culture War <ul><li>Cultural clash over values vs. economic clash over wealth </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Orthodox (morality) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Progressive (personal freedom) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Clash over: abortion, gay rights, drug use, school prayer and pornography. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How is this war different than political disputes? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Why has this war grown in recent years? </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Mistrust of Government <ul><li>The “American Malaise” - crisis of confidence evident in Americans’ growing disrespect for government, schools, churches, and institutions. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Jimmy Carter </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Why don’t we trust our government? What don’t we trust about it? </li></ul>
  9. 9. America vs. the World <ul><li>Swedes - deferential in nature; harmony; equality in results more important than equality in opportunity </li></ul><ul><li>Japanese - Respect authority; group decisions </li></ul><ul><li>British- sense of civic duty; rectify unjust laws </li></ul><ul><li>Americans- strong sense of religion in politics </li></ul><ul><li>IS THE U.S. REALLY APATHETIC????? </li></ul>