Difference Between Political Culture and Political Socialization

Political Culture vs Political Socialization
 

Though there is a connection between political culture and political socialization, they refer to two different concepts in political sociology that show a subtle difference between them. Political culture refers to the beliefs, practices, and attitudes of people that influence their behavior in politics. It is in accordance with their points of view that they behave in the political arena. However, this behavior is something that the individual acquires through socialization. This particular function is known as political socialization. This is the connection between these two words. Through this article let us examine the differences between the two terms, political culture and political socialization.

What is Political Culture?

Political culture comprises of the beliefs, practices, and attitudes of people, who influence their behavior in politics. Political culture plays a key role in any society mainly because the people of a particular society are greatly influenced by it. It changes or influences the attitude and also behavior of people. When speaking of the political culture, the government plays a key role. The government can change the entire political culture of a country through laws, policies, education, and even through campaigns. For instance, notice how our political opinions change swiftly after listening to speeches or else after participating in campaigns. The political culture of one country may be completely different to another. This is because of the various practices, culture, and traditions of the countries.

The term political culture is related to citizenship as well. This is because it is the citizens of a country who can change the political culture, just as the government or ruling party. Academics in political science have been keenly interested in understanding the role of the citizen within the political culture.

Difference Between Political Culture and Political Socialization

The three dimensions of political culture and how they interact

What is Political Socialization?

In order to become a part of the political culture of a society, people have to be socialized. This process of socializing is known as political socialization. Political socialization begins in childhood. There are many social agents that play different roles in this socialization process. They are the family, friends, religion, media, government, historically significant events, class, etc.

Let us pay attention to the role of some of these social agents. The family can be considered as one of the most prominent agents in childhood. This is because the child is exposed to this environment for many hours every day. Unconsciously, the child acquires the attitudes and beliefs of his parents about politics and political stances. Religion is another agent that clearly influences our political viewpoints through the religious values and practices. In today’s world, the influence of the media is paramount when it comes to the political socialization. This highlights that political culture and political socialization are related concepts in sociology.

 Political Culture vs Political Socialization

What is the difference between Political Culture and Political Socialization?

• Definitions of Political Culture and Political Socialization:

• Political culture comprises of the beliefs, practices and attitudes of people that influence their behavior in politics.

• Political socialization refers to the process of becoming a part of the political culture through acquiring various beliefs, attitudes, and practices.

• Relationship:

• Political socialization allows the individual to be a part of the political culture.

• Sustenance:

• The political culture of a society is sustained through the effective maintenance of the political socialization process.

• Agents:

• In political socialization, we speak of various social agents such as family, government, religion, peers influence our political attitudes through which they shape the political culture.

• Mutuality:

• Just as the political socialization influences the political culture, the political culture can also influence political socialization.

 

Images Courtesy:

  1. The three dimensions of political culture and how they interact by Cpccnr (CC BY-SA 3.0)
  2. John, Robert, and Edward Kennedy, pictured together in July 1960 via Wikicommons (Public Domain)