Political Culture

James A. Morone

in The Oxford Handbook of American Political Development

Published in print August 2016 | ISBN: 9780199697915
Published online September 2014 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

Political Culture

More Like This

Show all results sharing these subjects:

  • Politics
  • US Politics
  • Political Institutions


Show Summary Details


This chapter examines the role of culture in American politics. It begins by asking, is there a distinctive American political culture? and exploring three answers: Yes, the traditional American culture (known as the American creed) is still going strong; no, the American creed has faded; and, finally, traditional accounts of American political culture were myths conconted by the powerful. It then discusses four major, overlapping cultural traditions: individualism/liberalism, community, the ascriptive tradition, and morality. The article argues that the United States had, and still has, a vibrant political culture, courtesy of generations of immigrants who bring new perspectives and marginal groups striving for legitimacy. As a result, the American political culture is a perpetual work in progress, constantly contested and continuously evolving.

Keywords: politics; political culture; individualism; community; ascriptive tradition; morality; United States; immigrants; marginal groups; liberalism

Article.  7555 words. 

Subjects: Politics ; US Politics ; Political Institutions

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.