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date: 15 July 2020

Abstract and Keywords

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

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