Rose and Dogan:
Political culture…refers to the values, beliefs and emotions that give meaning to political life.
Almond and Powell:
Pattern of individual attitude and orientations towards critics among the members of a political system
“Political culture means commonly shared goals and commonly accepted rules.”
“Values, beliefs and emotional attitudes about new government ought to be conducted and what it should do.”
The process of the secularization of political culture means increasing political awareness of the people enabling them to have growing information about their role as a political actor in it.
It is through the secularization of political culture that these rigid, ascribed and diffuse customs of social interaction come to be over ridden by a set of codified, specifically political and universal rules.
By the same token, it is in the secularization process that bargaining and accommodative political actions become a common feature of the society, and that the development of special structures such as interest groups and parties become meaningful.
A study of different political systems of the world, whether advanced or eastern and developing leaves an impression that political culture plays a very important role in the sphere of political stability and change.
Gabriel Almond is the most outstanding scholar in the study of political culture. He begins with some assumption
1. Political culture and political structure are interrelated and affect one another.
2. Political system operates within a framework of set of meanings.
To him, there are components central to political culture-orientation and objects.
Almond says that the political system is basically the sum total of orientation of the people towards political objects (political culture is the sum total of political orientations and attitudes held by individuals in relation to political system).
By orientation he meant an outlook, either general or limited of one’s surrounding. Such an outlook helps the individual soot out and evaluates the stimuli coming from the world around him. Such individual orientations have three components as dimension. They are as under:
They refer to orientation in relation to the knowledge and beliefs about political objects i.e. leaders, operation of system problem and prospect of policy.
They relate to the feeling of attachment, involvement, rejection, alleviation about political objects.
They include judgments and opinions about political objects, for example include application of values such as democratic norms.
These three dimensions of orientation are interrelated and may be combined in a variety of ways, self even within the same individual as he considers the various aspects of the political system.
Orientations of people are directed towards ‘political objects.’ According to Almond and Powell, Political objects include the political system as a whole; particular political structures-parties, interest groups, legislature, executive, judiciary-individual or group roles-President, Prime Minister, Cabinet, Ministry and specific public policies and issues. They also include the self as a political actor.
Since, the number of political objects is very large, they can be classified under four categories.
1. System as a whole:
It includes the political system, its history, its size, location of power, constitution etc.
2. Input processes:
It includes those organisations and institutions which channel the flow of demands and supports into the political system. They affect the decision making process like political parties, pressure (interest groups), media etc.
3. Output process:
It includes the work of the bureaucracy, the courts and other institutions concerned with applying and enforcing authoritative decisions.
4. The self:
It includes the individual’s role in the political system as perceived by the individual himself. His rights, power, duties etc
By relating orientations of people towards 4 categories of the political objects, Almond specifies three distinct types of political cultures.
In the classification of political cultures the basic factor is his emphasis on the roles of the subjects and participants. He further says that orientations to politics include the nations of the individual about himself as a political actor.
1. Parochial Political Culture:
It exists in simple to additional societies (Artician thrises) in which there is very little specialisation. People are backward and ignorant about their political system.
2. Subject Political Culture:
Such a political culture is found in eastern European countries where people are oriented to the system as a whole and to its outputs.
Orientations towards the other two aspects viz., inputs and the self is absent. Individuals accept the system and its output passively. The people do not participate in policy decisions processes.
It exists in highly developed societies where people take active part in the political sphere by considering themselves as active members of the polity. The people are well aware of the four political objects, conscious of their rights and duties, events of day to day happening and their importance.
They have knowledge of, feelings for and judgments about the four categories of political objects. They are continuously engaged in the evaluation and criticism of the political system.
However no society is characterized by a single variety of political culture. Almond specifies that all the political systems are generally of mixed type political culture instead of pure or unmixed culture.
It is only the predominant pattern of orientation to political objects which usually is taken into consideration while determining that which type of political culture is prevalent in a particular society.