Political Culture (socialisation) and Legitimacy

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Political Culture (socialisation) and Legitimacy

Today I’d like to speak about legitimacy and political culture. I think, It is better to start with Legitimacy, because It’ll made my speech more logically structured.

So, what is legitimacy? We can describe it as rightfulness of a regime or system of rule. The biggest contribution to the understanding of legitimacy as a social phenomenon was provided by Max Weber. He constructed 3 types of legitimacy.

The first type is traditional authority. Such kind of legitimacy is based on long-established customs and traditions. In effect, traditional authority is regarded as legitimate because it has always existed. The best examples of this type of legitimacy we can easily find amongst tribes in Africa.

The second form of legitimacy is charismatic authority. This form of authority is based on the power of individuals personality, that is, on his or her charisma. Usually this kind of authority has some drawbacks. For example, as charismatic authority is not based on formal rules or proceeders, it often has no limits. The leader is some kind of Messiah, who is unquestionable. Also so closely is authority linked to a specific individual, that it is difficult for the system of personal rule to outlive its founding figure.

The third type is legal-rational type. It links authority to a clearly and legally defined set of rules. No matter who is that authority – president, chancellor or prime-minister – they are chosen in a legal way, usually, by the people.

Here we come to the second part of the question – to the political culture. Why is it so important? And is it important at all? Should people be politically socialized? If you want to know, whom you choose as a ruler of the country you live in, if you want your freedoms and rights not to be cut, you should be politically socialized. To start with, what is political socialization? Political socialization is …………….

There are various social agents, socializing us. The process of socialization start from the very beginning of our life – from our family.

Also such an agents for every person are – school, university, religion (especially when we are speaking about Islam), MM, and, some times, directly from government.



Political Ideologies

TodayI’d like to speak about political ideology. From my point of view it would be wrong to speak about it without explaining what does the term ideology mean.

So, where term ideology comes from? This term was coined in 1796 by French Philosopher Destutt de Tracy. He used it to refer to a new “science of ideas” (literally an idea-ology).

From a social-scientific point of view, an ideology is more or less coherent set of ideas. However, it is not hermetically sealed system of ideas and thoughts.

In a modern world there are approximately 20 different political ideologies. But it will take forever to speak about them all, that is why I’ll mention only the main and the most famous ideologies.

To start with conservatism. Conservative ideas first emerged in the late 18 century as a reaction against broad economic and political changes. It is interesting, that almost at the same time in different countries of the world emerged several types of conservatism. For example, in continental Europe there was such conservatism, that was against any idea of reform. A more flexible form of conservatism emerged in the UK and in the USA. It was characterized by belief in «change in order to conserve».

Another well known ideology is called liberalism. It emerged in the early 19-th centuary. The main theme of liberalism is individualism. The state, in their opinion, is nothing but a “necessary evil ”. It is necessary only because it establishes order and security. But it is limiting freedom of individual. They also believe, that economy doesn’t need any kind of control.

There should be mentioned, that every ideology, that we have mentioned, has it’s updated version. For example, modern liberalism is characterised by more sympathetic attitude towards state invention and modern conservatism is less skeptical about???? reforms.

Also I’d like to mention so-called “end of ideology” debate. This debates were started in the late 20-th century and it lasts till nowdays. The question is – could the ideology come to an end? From my point of view, the answer is no. The appearance of the modern and updated versions of ideologies shows us, that ideologies are developing. The evolution of ideology, perhaps, is an unending process, that makes ideologies alive.

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