The Study of Political Culture

Originally published in A Discipline Divided: Schools and Sects in Political Science, 1990
  • Gabriel A. Almond


Gabriel Almond, the “dean” of contemporary political culture theory, begins by showing that culture—people’s cognitions, values, and affective commitments—has been central to important explanations of social life for over two thousand years. Moreover, he argues, the terribly destructive “irrational” events of twentieth century (in particular, World Wars I and II and the Holocaust) have underscored the importance of culture, in contrast to rationality, for explaining social life. Indeed, the efficacy of culture in this regard was bolstered at mid-century with developments in measurement theory, social survey techniques, and statistical analysis. Almond explores the origins of contemporary political culture theory, dismissing its critics perhaps too quickly. But his survey of contemporary political culture theory is sure-handed and optimistic about the centrality of future applications to the development of social science.


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References and Further Readings

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Copyright information

© Lane Crothers and Charles Lockhart 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gabriel A. Almond

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