Definition of Political Culture and Political Socialization


Political culture and political socialization are fairly recent approaches in political science. This approach was born after the completion of research conducted by two American researchers, namely Gabriel A. Almond and Sydney Verba. The results of this research are contained in their book Political Culture, which is the result of a study between 1969 and 1970 on 5000 respondents spread across 5 countries: the United States, Britain, Italy, Mexico, and West Germany.

Political culture means the tendency to behave individuals towards the prevailing political system in their country. In the political culture approach, the individual is the main and empirical subject of study. This differs from the political philosophy approach, for example, which is more abstract because opinions are constructed by someone without first looking at the facts on the ground, or at least, through a series of studies involving many people.
Meanwhile, political socialization is an instrument that seeks to preserve a political system. Through a series of mechanisms in political socialization, individuals from the next generation are educated to understand what, how, and for what the political system that is taking place in their respective countries functions for themselves.

Political Culture

Political culture is the way individuals think, feel, and act on the political system and its parts, including attitudes towards their own roles in the political system.

Individual orientation/tendency towards the political system is divided into 3, namely:

  1. Cognitive Orientation – Knowledge of the input and output mechanisms of the political system, including knowledge of the rights and obligations as citizens.
  2. Affective Orientation – Individual feelings about the political system, including the roles of actors (politicians) and political institutions (political parties, executive, legislative, and judiciary).
  3. Evaluative Orientation – Individual decisions and opinions about political objects that typically involve standard values, information criteria, and feelings.

Cognitive orientation is knowledge. How individuals know the rights and obligations of citizens in the constitution, how individuals know the election procedures, how individuals know about political parties and party activities, how individuals know the behavior of their leaders through mass reporting, are examples of this cognitive orientation. This knowledge is impermanent. Knowledge increases or remains in line with the influences of the environment around the individual.

Types of Political Culture

According to Almond and Verba, political culture has its own types. Through their research results in 5 countries, both of them concluded that there are 3 dominant political cultures in the middle of individuals. The type of political culture itself means the type of individual tendency in the political system. The types of a political culture that exist are:

  1. Parochial Political Culture.
  2. Subject’s Political Culture
  3. Participant in Political Culture.
  4. Parochial Political Culture

Parochial political culture is a type of political culture in which an individual’s ties to a political system are not so strong, either cognitively or affectively.

  1. Subject’s Political Culture

The political culture of the subject is a political culture that has a higher level than parochial because individuals feel that they are part of the citizens of a country.

  1. Participant in Political Culture

Participant political culture is a political culture that is higher in rank than the subject. In the participant political culture, individuals understand that they are citizens who have some rights and obligations