Define the difference between Political Culture and Political Ideology.

2 Answers

pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

Political culture is a broader and more basic thing that political ideology.  For example, just about everyone in the US shares a political culture.  Our political culture is democratic and tolerant.  We all believe in democracy and the right of everyone to be heard.  So political culture is sort of our deepest attitudes towards how the system should work.

Political ideology is the more divisive thing.  It is our set of attitudes about what the government (which we all agree should be democratic) should do.  The two dominant ideologies in the US right now are liberal and conservative.

mkoren's profile pic

mkoren | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted on

Political culture and political ideology are two different ideas. Political culture is more of a general concept. It focuses on values, attitudes, and ideas that many people have about the government of a country. We believe our leaders should be elected as a result of a democratic process. In our country, we believe in the concept of a democratic republic as the way our leaders should represent us. Most people, regardless of their political ideology, support these ideas.

Political ideology is much more specific and may lead to disagreements between people and political parties. The Democratic Party has a political ideology that is very different than the political ideology of the Republican Party. The Democratic Party believes the government should have a larger and more active role in society. They believe there should be many government programs or agencies to help the needy and to regulate the actions of businesses. The Republican Party believes the government should have a more limited role in our lives. They want taxes to be lower, and they want fewer government regulations on businesses. These ideologies are very different, and they clearly mark the differences between the political parties. There is a significant difference between political culture and political ideology.