ERIC Number: ED175771
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979
Reference Count: 0
Conceptualizing the Role of Culture in Political Change.
Aronoff, Myron J.
Using as a point of departure anthropologist Clifford Geertz's study of culture with special emphasis on political change, the paper develops a theoretical framework for studying the relationship between culture and political change. A major objective of this anthropological approach to the study of political culture is to help political scientists studying political culture lessen their conceptually limited dependence on psychological and socio-psychological theories and approaches. Although in basic agreement with theories advanced by Geertz and other social scientists (Samuel Huntington, Jorge Dominguez, Sall Moore, Barbara Myerhoff, Roger Kessing, etc.), regarding the influence of political culture on political change, the author points out conceptual shortcomings of these theories. These include that social scientists are often hampered by conceptual naivete and that they often treat as reality ideal types which they invented. The proposed conceptual framework seeks to avoid theoretical pitfalls by critically reviewing accepted definitions of reality; considering cognitive and normative dimensions of society; analyzing case studies (particularly from Third World nations) of socio-economic, cultural, and political changes brought about by ideological changes; avoiding ethnocentrism; and reviewing relevant literature on cultural change. (DB)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Information Analyses; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association (Washington, D.C., August 31-September 3, 1979)