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From Consensus to Conflict: A categorization of American state political culture

Mark M Springer, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


The primary goal of this dissertation is to develop a more precise understanding of political culture by combining existing views of political culture into a composite measure of political culture, particularly American state political culture. The main research question is what is an accurate definition of political culture? The central hypothesis is measurements of state ideology, religion, civic culture, style of representation, and ethnic/ minority diversity are statistically correlated at the. 05 level. A combination of ideology, religion, and state minority diversity variables can be used to give a clearer picture pertaining to what comprises political culture that also allows researchers to distinguish state political cultures from one another. The secondary hypothesis is that state ideological diversity, state religious diversity, and ethnic/minority diversity can be combined at the .05 level into a Consensus to Conflict scale . ^ My conclusions are that (1) the study of political culture benefits the field of political science by adding context to our discussions of state politics; (2) the Consensus to Conflict political culture can be used to examine differences between states and within states; (3) the field of political science needs to consider better research instruments for measuring political culture in future research; (4) any attempt at conceptualizing political culture faces fundamental challenges; and (5) problems that may result from American state political culture need to be addressed further either through practical application of reforms or through the continued research of attitudes and political culture to measure changes in the American public's perceptions prior to any possible negative consequences that could result from problems inherent in American state political culture. ^

Subject Area

Political Science, General|Political Science, Public Administration

Recommended Citation

Springer, Mark M, "From Consensus to Conflict: A categorization of American state political culture" (2004). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3126967.