Structure and functions of political culture
Political culture as a socio-psychological phenomenon is a complex formation. Its structure consists of the following elements:
1. General political knowledge , which are composed of theoretical, ie. scientific, and practical knowledge, obtained on the basis of current information. Without theoretical knowledge, current information is not capable of giving a truthful and profound picture of political life, political processes, events. But only theoretical knowledge without current information is dead: it is the current information that makes it possible to correctly navigate in the concrete environment, to make decisions taking into account specific tasks of the time.
2. Culture of political thinking - the ability to properly navigate in an environment, focus on the main thing in political life; the ability to analyze and systematize information, give a correct assessment of political events and take in accordance with it a decision about their attitude to these events and their participation in them.
3. Culture of political feelings , i.e. emotional and psychological component of political culture. It consists of feelings and experiences experienced by social actors in connection with their participation in political processes. Resistance, composure, perseverance, energy, compassion, joy, or vice versa, anger, rejection, cruelty, rudeness are those qualities that serve as one of the main mechanisms for regulating political behavior and people's activities.
4. Culture of political behavior and activities , which is formed under the influence of political traditions in society, the level of political consciousness, the culture of political thinking and the corresponding feelings. Thus, the culture of political behavior and activity is the consequence, the final result of the manifestation of political culture, conditioned by long-term political order in society and the peculiarities of the embodiment in the individual, social group, etc. all other elements of its structure.
Political culture is a multilevel phenomenon. In the structure of its value relationships can be identified:
a) worldview, i.e. general cultural, aspect (for example, attitude to violence and freedom, to worldly or religious consciousness, individual and collective values, etc.);b) the level of political culture that characterizes the attitude towards state power as a public center of domination and subordination. For example, recognition of the state's priority over the individual, or, conversely, recognition of the priority of individual rights over the rights of the state. There is another connection with this: the attitude to the limits of power, to their civil rights and duties; c) the level of political culture that reveals a person's attitude to various kinds of political phenomena, for example, such as institutional (state, political parties, movements, organizations) and social subjects of politics (personality, classes, groups, nations). This also includes relations related to the assessment of the role of each of these entities in the political life of society.
The functions of political culture
Based on the analysis of the content, structure and levels of political culture, we can distinguish seven of its functions.
1. Cognitive function: its essence consists in arming the subject with the knowledge necessary for his successful activity in the sphere of politics. We are talking about the knowledge of laws and principles that determine the social development of ways, methods and means of governing society, the mechanism of the functioning of the political system, etc.
2. The function of historical continuity: it involves the transfer of political experience from generation to generation, the continuity of the political process.
3. The function of regulation of political life : the function is aimed at ensuring the efficiency of the political system, development and strengthening of responsibility to society.
4. The integration function, or the function of expressing and harmonizing the interests of classes, social strata, social groups, nations, nationalities. This function, political culture, largely contributes to the political unity of society.
5. Normative-value (normative-axiological) function: the relations of the subjects of politics are determined by the system of values that enter into the political culture, as a result of which it performs this function.
6. Function of forming an active position of an individual in a system of certain social relations. This function is realized in political and other types of social activity.
7. Function of development and satisfaction of political needs and interests: it is about forming an interested participation in politics.
We described only the most important functions of political culture, singled out in accordance with its structure and the tasks it faces. These functions find their integral expression in the main thrust of political culture to foster political and civic consciousness.
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