Concepts of Political Science
a resource for student reference prepared by
Gordon L. Bowen, Ph.D.
Professor of Political Science and International Relations
Mary Baldwin College
Staunton, VA USA 24401
Political Culture is a concept developed in the 1960s by the late Gabriel Almond (Stanford University, who died in 2002). He defined it as:
“the underlying... attitudes, beliefs, values, and skills that are current in an entire population, as well as those ... patterns ....found within separate parts of that population... [which] we refer to as subcultures.”
Almond believed that in studying political systems, one needs to examine both the structures that perform the political functions, and the political culture.
“As we learn about the structure and culture of a political system, our capacity to characterize its properties, and to predict and explain its performance, is improved.”
Gabriel Almond and G. Bingham Powell, Comparative Politics: A Developmental Approach (Boston: Little-Brown, 1966): 23-24.
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