Culture 's Comparative Political Analysis Essay

1701 Words Feb 8th, 2016 null Page
Ross, Marc Howard (2009). Culture in comparative Political Analysis. In Mark I. Lichbach and Alan. S. Zuckerman (Eds.), Comparative Politics (Second ed., pp. 134-161). New York: Cambridge University Press. (Seminar paper prepared by Wais Mehrabi) Ross presents an argument as to why a cultural approach should be used in comparative politics. He argues it offers “a framework for organizing people’s daily worlds” (134), bridges identities with political proclivities and action, shapes interests and helps interpret motives individuals and actors. Culture delivers these through “organizing meanings and meaning making, defining social and political identity, structuring collecting actions, and imposing a normative order on politics and social life” (134). Ross seems to be in agreement with Gyrzmala-Busse’s on how religion should be dealt with seriously given its fundamental impact over politics. He restates Lichbach’s categorization of culture into subjective (individuals internalizing values) and intersubjective – “share meanings and identities that constitute the symbolic, expressive, and interpretive social life” (135) and argues for the merits of a postmodern understanding of the latter. The core argument of Ross’s is that culture “can illuminate micro-and macro-level political dynamics and provide explanatory mechanisms not revealed by either rationality or institutionalism” (135), and is conditional upon context and structure. Ross cautions against…

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