Tocqueville and Weber on the Sociological Origins of Citizenship: The Political Culture of American Democracy
Alexis de Tocqueville’s Democracy in America is considered today to be perhaps the most profound analysis of American society ever written. Far more than a ‘political commentary’, this classic focuses upon the ‘manners and mores’ — the customs — at the very foundation of the political culture of the United States. Two major themes, both of which originate from Tocqueville’s focus upon the far-ranging differences between ‘aristocratic and democratic nations’ and the ways in which the ‘equality of conditions’ widely influences American society, stand at the centre of his analysis: a concern regarding a potential danger of a ‘tyranny of the majority’ and an emphasis upon the necessity of widespread civil associations if democracy is to remain stable.
KeywordsPolitical Culture Political Association Ethical Community Democratic Nation Feudal Society
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