POLS 321: Comparative Political Culture

Professor Helene Shanruo Ning Zhang

Politics takes place in cultures.   Political institutions can only function properly when “congruent” political cultures are in place to sustain them.  Political acts, incidents, and phenomena are meaningless and without direction when they are taken out of their cultural context.  Yet, because we live in our political culture like “fish in the water,” culture easily becomes invisible and thus un-analyzable.  The main objective of this course, therefore, is to learn to observe, identify, and analyze culture,  to comprehend key concepts and theories in this area of academic research, to create our own political world from a cultural perspective, and, equipped with such knowledge and skills, conduct research on political cultures around us. 


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