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Gabriel Almond

Political culture - set of personal positions and orientations of members of concrete political system. It is the subjective sphere creating a fundamental principle of political actions and giving to them sense.



Much from this that concerns now political culture, was analyzed and described by thinkers of an antiquity - Konfutsiem, Platon, Aristotle. However the term has appeared much later - in a XVIII-th century in works of German philosopher Johann Gottfried Gerdera (1744-1803). The theory describing this political phenomenon, was generated only in the late fifties - the beginning of 60th years ХХ centuries in the tideway of the western politological tradition. The American political scientist G.Almond (1911-2002), investigating political system, has allocated estimations of the political phenomena which in aggregate and characterised as political culture. Americans Sydney the Willow (a sort. 1932), Ljusen the Share (a sort. 1921), Uolter Rosenbaum (a sort. 1934), Ronald Inglhart (a sort. 1934),Englishmen Richard Rose (a sort. 1933), Dennis Kevenah,German theorist Klaus abackground of Bojme (a sort. 1934),Frenchmen of Moris Djuverzhe (a sort. 1917), Rozhe-Zherar Shvartsenberg and other scientists have essentially added and have developed the doctrine about political culture.

Now in political science there were three basic approaches to treatment of political culture. One scientists identify it with the subjective maintenance of a policy, meaning by political culture all set of the spiritual phenomena (Almond, the Willow, George Bingemetc.). Other researchers consider it as reflexion of samples of political behaviour of the person(Stephen White [a sort. 1945], Jack Plejno, Mary Duglas). They imagine political culture as a certain matrix of norms used by the person and rules of a game of politics. The third group of political scientists understands political culture as a way, style of political activity of the person, assuming an embodiment of its valuable orientations in practical behaviour (Ien Shapiro, Parmatma Sharan (a sort. 1916), Uolter Rosenbaum).

In the modern politological literature the concept of political culture is more and more considered as political measurement of the cultural environment in a concrete society, the characteristic of national advantages of each people in this connection it is defined as set typical for the concrete country (group of the countries) forms and samples of behaviour of people in the public sphere, embodying their valuable representations about sense and the purposes of development of the world of a policy and fixing the norms which have settled in society and tradition of mutual relation of the state and a society. From such point of view the political culture is a set of political norms officially accepted and informally occurring in this or that country, rules, principles and customs which it is rigid enough, though frequently and imperceptibly, define, direct, limit their political behaviour.

II. Formation of political culture of this or that society and a system is influenced by many factors:

Historical preconditions, as a whole that usually is understood as “historical memory”;

The general culture of the country, the people which part is the political culture;

Geographical factors, as geopolitics - not last element in strategic thinking of ruling circles of all countries of the world;

Ideology as one of essential factors of formation of political culture.

The maintenance of political culture, its structure consists of following components:

- Political knowledge which develop of theoretical scientific knowledge and the practical knowledge received on the basis of the current information. Without theoretical knowledge the current information is not capable to form a deep and adequate picture of political processes, events. The current information gives the chance to be guided correctly in endured concrete conditions, to make decisions taking into account specific problems of time;

- Cultures of political thinking - abilities correctly to be guided in conditions, to focus attention on the main thing in political life, ability to analyze and systematise data, to state a correct estimation to political events and to make according to it the decision on the relation and the participation in them;

- Cultures of political feelings which define political behaviour of people;

- Cultures of political behaviour and activity which develop under the influence of political traditions, level of political consciousness, culture of political thinking and feelings.

In political life certain functions are peculiar to political culture, of which it is possible to carry the following to major:

Identification, opening constant requirement of the person for understanding of the group accessory and definition of ways of participation comprehensible to for expression and upholding of interests of the given generality;

ориентационную, characterising aspiration of the person to semantic display of the political phenomena, understanding of own possibilities at realisation of the rights and freedom in concrete political system. The political culture defines and orders norms of behaviour and game rules in the political sphere, supervising principles of political behaviour and activity;

The programming, expressing приоритетность certain orientations, norms and the representations setting both causing a certain orientation and borders of designing of behaviour of the person;

Adaptable, expressing requirement of the person for the adaptation to the changing public environment, conditions of realisation of its rights and imperious powers. The political culture not only protects political system from destruction, it gives it dynamism, sating system with mechanisms of adaptation to changing social and economic and other living conditions;

The socialisation, reflecting acquisition by the person of certain skills and the properties allowing it to realise in this or that system of the power the civil rights, political functions and interests;

Integration (дезинтеграционную), possibility of coexistence providing to various groups within the limits of certain political system, preservation of integrity of the state and its mutual relations with a society as a whole. The political culture is the integrator of all political experience and the mechanism of its transfer from the past to the present and from the present - to the future. This process зигзагообразен also is inconsistent, as from the past can pass in the present, along with the elements of the culture corresponding to requirements of given political system, also specifications and the models not compatible to the nature of system, undermining it;

Communication, all subjects providing interaction and institutes of the power on the basis of use of the standard terms, symbols, stereotypes and other news media and dialogue language.

III. Types of political culture.In a political science special popularity was received by the classification of political culture offered by G.Almondom and S.Verboj in the book “Civil culture” (1963). They have allocated three types of political culture:

парокиальная (English parochial - местнический, patriarchal) for which absence of interest of citizens to political life, knowledge of political system and significant expectations for people from its activity is characteristic. This culture excludes presence of concrete political roles, in it political orientations are not concretised, the subject does not possess knowledge concerning a policy, it is focused on so-called primary relations in groups, becomes isolated in local and ethnic solidarity;

подданническая - with strong orientation to political institutes and low level of individual activity of citizens. They submit to the power, expect from it the various blessings, without being afraid of dictatorship, behave only as submitted. Such political culture dominated during all history of the Russian State, including and the period of the USSR;

партиципаторная (English participation - participation), - testifies to interest of citizens in political participation and about display of activity by them in this sphere. The given political culture is called still активистской, meaning influence of citizens on imperious relations in the country by means of elections, referenda, demonstrations.

In real political life these types of political culture practically are never shown in "a pure" kind, they co-operate among themselves, forming the mixed versions with prevalence of those or other components (subcultures). The most mass and simultaneously optimum from the point of view of stability of system властвования is the synthetic culture of civilisation in which dominate подданнические installations and active forms of participation of people in the politician.“ Civil culture, - mark G.Almond and S.Verba, is the mixed political culture. In its frameworks many citizens can be active in the politician, however many other things play more passive role of "citizens". Even more important the fact, what even at those who actively plays a civil role, qualities of parishioners and citizens are not completely forced out. The role of the participant is simply added to those two roles. It means that the active citizen keeps the традиционалистские, неполитические, no less than the more passive role of the citizen ”.

In the substantial plan exist and the more general criteria of typology of the political culture, set by specificity цивилизационного devices of the special semiworlds - the East and the West, (or the South and the North), values and which traditions are the base of all existing types of political culture.

Ideals of political culture of the western type go back to полисной (city) organisation of the power in the Ancient Greece assuming obligatory participation of citizens in the decision of the general questions, and also to the Roman right which has confirmed the civil sovereignty of the person. Work as pledge of vital prosperity, the right and a personal freedom, a priority of a civil society in relation to the state, promotion as the corner-stone public life of the right and the law, division of the authorities, representative democracy and many other things - values and priorities on which base there were political cultures of the western type. The maintenance of its Almond and the Willowhave opened as follows:

- The general positive estimation of value of activity of the government for it personally and deep comprehension of this fact;

- High level of interest to activity of the government and familiarity in this area;

- A pride for political institutes of the nation;

- Expectation of that will be rendered it the equal and attentive relation from officials;

- Desire to discuss policy questions publicly or in a circle of friends and acquaintances;

- The open and loyal display of oppositional moods;

- Content in connection with carrying out of national political actions, for example, campaigns for elections;

- Validity of judgements concerning the governmental policy and the developed indebtedness to affect this policy personally or together with someone from fellow citizens;

- Competence of use of legal establishments with a view of successful counteraction to arbitrary acts;

- Belief that democracy of participation is necessary and desirable system of the government.

Norms and traditions of political culture of the East root in features of ability to live of communal structures of agrarian societies of Asia and Africa. Base values of the given world were formed under the influence of constant domination of dominating structures, domination of collectivist forms of the organisation of private life, suppression by the centralised structures of conditions for individual enterprise activity, occurrence and private property development. The resolution of conflicts in such conditions provided not encouragement of legal norms, and the appeal to moral authority of seniors, chiefs. Therefore customs, instead of the law, opinion of a management, instead of the constitution became an ethical standard of political culture of east type. The given circumstances have confirmed as the basic valuable orientations of east political culture:

- Belief in necessity of the obligatory intermediary (the guru, teachers, senior) between the simple person and the power;

- Understanding of the political power as spheres of divine board;

- An exception of freedom, pluralism, competition of the policy world;

- A recognition of a predominating role of elite at absence not only intentions, but also requirement for control of their activity;

- The instruction to the simple person of especially performing functions.

The contrast of base reference points of western and east types of political culture has steady character which serious political reforms cannot shake even. In some states a certain synthesis of values of western and east types all the same was generated. So, technological jerk of Japan and its occurrence in club of leading industrial powers, and also consequences of the American occupation of the country after the Second World War have allowed to implant a considerable charge of liberally-democratic values and samples of political behaviour of citizens in its political culture. For the modern world processes not only westernisations, but also ориентализации are characteristic.

IV. Base values of the Russian political culture have developed under the influence of the factors which have not lost the influence and now. First of all it is possible to carry geopolitical circumstances to them (the size of territory, a climate, a landscape, the adjacent people). Own influence on dominating lines of the Russian political culture communal forms of the organisation of life of Russians, geopolitical срединность have rendered also Russia in relation to the East and the West, constant orientation of the state to extreme management methods. Long and inconsistent influence of various factors has led to occurrence internally split, horizontally and vertically polarised political culture in which its leading segments contradict each other on the base reference points. The basic levels of population gravitate in different proportions to values both western, and east political culture. For Russia and today are characteristic:

- Historical propensity to government centralisation, state domination over a society;

- Historical endurance and firmness, readiness for rallying and consolidation only during critical, crisis, fatal epoch and political indifference, apathy, conformism - during other periods of the state life;

- Negation of last political experience by each imperious grouping which has again come to government;

- Preference of revolutionary actions in comparison with reformatory programs and strategy;

- Orientation to fast favorable changes in a society, permanent idea of "the big jump”;

- Inability to study on another's achievements and errors, thoughtless copying of foreign social and political experience;

- The broadest disorder of political preferences of considerable groups of the population (from monarchism to anarchism) that extremely complicates development of national ideas and strategy.

Level of distinctions and opposition between subcultures in Russia is excessively high. If, for example, традиционалисты мифологизируют особость Russia, liberals - its excessive цивилизационное backlog. The first criticise the western liberalism, the second - the inert Russian validity. Thus and those, and others are distinguished by unshakable confidence of correctness of the "" principles, the relation to the compromise with opponents as to inadmissible infringement of principles and even treachery. At the same time for finding of stability and political unity consecutive strengthening of spiritual freedom, real expansion of social and economic and political space are necessary for display of civil activity of people, their involving in control over managing directors for the Russian society so that there were modern mass ideals of civil advantage, self-esteem, democratic forms of interaction of the person and the power.

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