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Political culture is defined as the attitudes, sentiments, beliefs, ideas and norms that guide the behaviour of the people in a political system.
Political culture can also be define as a culture that embraces such things as the history of the political system adopted through people’s reactions to election, method of electing their representatives, etc while the advanced nations like U.S.A., U.S.S.R., U.K., etc. Have established political cultures, those of the developing nations are in their rudimentary levels.top↑
Components Of Political Culture
1] Evaluative orientation : this refers to the extent the people can evaluate or critically assess the functioning of their political system. In such evaluation, the people can be able to assess the individuals that steer and control the affairs of the state and the efficiency and effectiveness of their policies.
2] Cognitive orientation : this concerns the belief and the knowledge that people have with regard to the political system. That is, how the people understand and know their political system and their beliefs awareness about the government and the roles of the government officials.
3] Affective orientation : this concerns the feelings of the people towards the political system.
It can also refers to how the people feel about the performance of their government, whether the people are proud of the government activities and political institution, the loyalty of the people to the government and to its leaders and to the nations, etc.top↑
What Determines The Political Culture
1] Historical development : the course of historical development in a particular society determines the attitudes, values and beliefs in politics, for example, various revolutions in France in the 18th century influenced the country’s politics in the 19th and 20th centuries.
2] Socio-economic structure : Urban and industrialized societies have higher educational standards, thus, people here participate in the decision making process than the rural societies which are rather conservative.
3] Different ethnicity : The belief system of each tribe has major impact on the people’s political culture, thus bringing about the differences of political culture.
For example, ethnic differences have for long affected political attitudes in Nigeria.top↑
4] Political instability : constant instability in the political system brings about disaffection by the populace, consequently it affects the political values and attitudes in politics.
5] The impact of colonialism : European colonial legacy has tremendous influence on new states in Africa, Latin America and Asia. To a large extent, it determines their political culture,
For example, Nigeria inherited its federal structure and the political beliefs, values and attitudes from Britain.top↑
Political Socialization : is defined as a process by which the citizens are educated on the values, attributes, and beliefs of political system.
Through political socialization, the citizens internalize the political culture of the nation.top↑
Political culture of the society is transmitted from one generation to another through political socialization, through effective political socialization, the citizens of a country are made to be aware of the political system, the role they are expected to play in the system, pride, raise their loyalty, patriotism and nationalistic feelings to the nation.
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Agents Of Political Socialization
1] The peer groups : A person is known by the group he keeps and belongs to. One’s views including political views are influenced by one’s playmates and friends, hence, the peer group of an individual tends to socialise the individual politically
2] Pressure groups : they are strong agents of political socialization, the pressure groups offer their members leadership training and educate them on their political rights, duties and obligations.top↑
3] The Family : the home is the first place an individual makes his first contact. Children learn mainly through observations and by observing the political behaviors of their parents. Children from political conscious families tends to be more politically aware and interested in politics.
4] The mass media : the mass media include newspapers, radio, television and magazines. The mass media educate, inform and entertain people, the type of education passed on the people by mass media includes political education, people are socialised through what they read, listen to and watch in the mass media.top↑
5] The school : Educational institutions play significant role in the political socialization of the citizens of a country.
It is in schools that political theories, heroes and the actors, etc., are read and learned. It in schools that people start to learn and practice how to play political roles, in fact, the type of politics played in higher institutions is not in any way different from national politics.
6] Religious groups : it is difficult to divorce politics from religion.
These days, we talk of religious politics and religious groups of which churches and mosques are involved, these religious groups teach, guide and direct their members on the political course to follow.
7] Political parties : One of the significant roles political parties play in politics socialization is stimulating the political awareness and consciousness of the people. Political parties also educate its members through their manifestoes and campaigns.top↑
Let stop here, till next class where we’ll be talking about democratic system
Next Topic : Democracy.
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