The system theorists point out that on political system is distinguished from another not only by its structure but also by the political culture in which the structures are embedded. That the working of the political system is very much affected by the political culture in which it functions can be illustrated by this fact that some developing countries like India, Ceylon, Burma, Pakistan etc. adopts certain political institutions like democracy, party-system and judicial system from the developed countries like England, France and U.S.A. but they soon discovered that these institutions did not function in the safe way as they worked in those countries from where they had been taken.
The question arises why the political system of the developing countries works differently from the developed countries, walk of life, we have to study the political culture of each country. Now we realise that the political culture of one country differs from other countries.
“Every political system”, writes Almond, “is embedded in a particular pattern of orientation to political actions”.’ Political Culture, according to Sidney Verba, “consists of the system of empirical beliefs, expressive symbols and values which defines the situation in which political action takes place”. It should be noted that political culture of a country is very close to its general culture. Just as the culture of one country differs from the culture of another country, so the political culture of a country also differs from another country.
The political sphere is also provided with political .structures and meanings in the same manner as consistency and integration is provided to the social life by general culture. It relates to rational considerations, emotions and ethical values, just like culture, it is hard to define political culture but still the political scientists have tried to define it.
In the words of Pye, “Political culture can be found only in men’s minds, in the pattern of action, feeling and reflection which they have internalised and made part of their very existence”. Every generation inherits attitudes and beliefs towards politics, partly from the earlier generation and partly it is formulated as a reaction to the on-going politics. Consequently, political culture is a product of the learning process.
General elections, party-politics, working of pressure-groups, changing social basis of the elites, governmental performance influence the political culture. Group-behaviour also largely determines the political culture of a country. In simpler words, political culture studies the interaction between the beliefs, events and structure.
Thus political culture makes a critical evaluation of the standards of political conduct. The way in which the political activities of a particular country are organised besides public statements, myths and legends, speeches and writings are the norms for the foundation of a political culture of that country.
Study of a political culture is also a study in political dynamics. The process of interaction between the political system and the political actors is one of techniques to understand the change in political culture that happens through time.
The social processes influence the individual at all stages of life. These individuals in return inter-act with the political system and introducing changes in the character of the political system, whereas the changing character of the political system influences the channels of political socialisation, on the one side and the individual behaviour on the other side. These things collectively form political culture can be treated as valuable method for the study of the behaviour of the individual in the context of the political system in which he is operating.