- Subject index
The SAGE Handbook of Political Science presents a major retrospective and prospective overview of the discipline. Comprising three volumes of contributions from expert authors from around the world, the handbook aims to frame, assess and synthesize research in the field, helping to define and identify its current and future developments. It does so from a truly global and cross-area perspective. Chapters cover a broad range of aspects, from providing a general introduction to exploring important subfields within the discipline. Each chapter is designed to provide a state-of-the-art and comprehensive overview of the topic by incorporating cross-cutting global, interdisciplinary, and, where this applies, gender perspectives. The Handbook is arranged over seven core thematic sections: Part 1: Political Theory; Part 2: Methods; Part 3: Political Sociology; Part ...
Chapter 37: Political Cultures
A Short History of the Subject
Perceptions (and stereotypes) of other peoples’ mentalities, mindsets, ways of life and cultures, or Tocqueville's famous ‘habits of the heart', are probably as old as humankind. Culture, however, is one of the most elusive concepts of the social sciences. Kroeber and Kluckhohn (1952), for example, found 164 different definitions ranging from words like agri-culture to very elaborate notions of ‘enlightenment and excellence of taste acquired by intellectual and aesthetic training’ (as per Merriam-Webster). Several distinctions are necessary at this point.
First, the scope of the concept has to be defined. In a very broad sense, culture refers to a large cultural area (Kulturkreis) which in the past has been largely shaped ...