Political culture and ideology are closely linked, yet distinct. Political culture refers to the widely held set of beliefs held by nearly all people within a nation, state, or polity. These are the things that people tend to agree on despite other differences. For instance, in the United States, most people value the importance of democracy, individual expression, justice, and liberty. No matter how someone may vote or other beliefs that they profess, these are beliefs are generally shared and make up an integral part of the political identity of the people.
Political ideology tends to be more specific than political culture. Whereas political culture represents similarities, political ideology tends to highlight differences. People are likely to identify themselves with a particular ideology. This can be conservative, liberal, socialist, libertarian, progressive, anarchist, nihilist, etc. Some ideologies are closely aligned with each other, while others are very different. It is possible for people of many different political ideologies to share the same political culture. For instance, conservatives and progressives share the cultural beliefs that individual liberties are important to protect and that all people are entitled to justice under the law. However, the details of how liberty and justice are applied and the role of the government in assuring it will differ.