Reinventing Political Culture: The Power of Culture Versus the Culture of Power (BOK)
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The way people think and act politically is not set in stone. People can and do change the fundamental cultural contours of their political situation. Their political culture does not only restrict imagination and action - it is also a resource for political creativity and invention. In Reinventing Political Culture, this resource is uncovered and explored. Analyzed as a tension between the power of culture and the culture of power, the concept of political culture is reinvented and applied to understanding the practice of people transforming their own political culture in very different circumstances. Three instances of such reinvention are closely examined: one historic, during the twilight of the Soviet empire; one actively in process and actively opposed, ‘the Obama revolution'; and one an apparent distant dream, the power of culture and the culture of power that would avoid ‘the clash of civilizations' in the Middle East. In accessible and engaging prose, Goldfarb clearly and forcefully presents students and scholars of sociology, comparative politics, and cultural studies with an original position on political culture, showing how the political cultures of our times pose not only grave dangers, but also opportunities for creative alternatives.