Political culture is one of the central, but most difficult, concepts in political science. Culture and Politics: A Reader explores this concept by compiling previously-published works that focus on the core themes of political culture research: Concepts and Applications, Culture and Globalization, Popular Culture, Civil Society and Social Capital, Social Movements and Collective Identity, Culture and Political Change, and Culture and Rationality. Each section includes general and article introductions as well as a “suggested reading” list. Taken together, these features make Culture and Politics: A Reader a handy resource for students and teachers at both the graduate and the under-graduate level.
This reader's 22 essays are organized into seven sections, each section with an introduction focusing on topics like the following: cultures that foster democracy in difficult circumstances; the question of whether political culture is defined as mental dispositions only or this and something else; whether "culture" is an effective explanatory device (better than, say, analysis of the institutions within which people directly live and work, or analysis of the people do things); whether the world works through international market capitalism or through increasing fragmentation and rivalry; the debate about whether culture changes politics; and whether cultural explanations and rational interpretations of human behavior are rival or complementary forms of explaining human behaviors. No information is provided on the contributors. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)