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    The Theory of Political Culture

    By: Stephen Welch

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    Although the idea that politics is influenced by its cultural setting is so plausible as to be almost irresistible, political culture has remained a contested and controversial concept. Just what the cultural setting consists of and how its influence on politics is transmitted remain unclear and disputed. This book argues that the problem is insufficient attention to basic theoretical questions. Positivist political culture research based on attitude surveys, and the interpretivist alternative which explores meaningful context, despite their mutual antipathy share a neglect of these questions, while materialist and discursivist critiques of, and alternatives to, political culture research end up posing the very same questions. Resisting the specialization and sectarianism of much of political and social science, the book tackles head on the questions of what political culture is and how it works. It begins by arguing that we must explore the nature and dynamics of political culture.

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