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The Difference Between France And Britain

2836 words - 11 pages

The Difference Between France and Britain

Scholars from Aristotle onward have proposed that the characteristics
of society directly affect the nature of government. If we apply this
to Britain and France, we shall see that this proposal is definitely
true. The difference between the British and French cultures becomes
obvious when an assessment looks at their political systems, and each
of the 6 structures, and the full range of the political culture's
influence on each structure is understood.

Political socialization is the learning of your political culture; it
is the process of acquiring the values and beliefs of the political
system. Older generations pass on values and beliefs to the younger
generations, thus political socialization starts in the family. After
the family, it advances to the educational system, and it is the basis
of acquiring political culture. In Britain, the two most important
means of socialization are family and education. The family teaches
civic responsibility and class differences, although, unlike France,
these are moderated by British politics. The educational system
reiterates the class differences, but is not as elitist as in France.
As for France, the family, and education are the most important tools
of socialization. The French see the family as a haven, a refuge from
the outside world. It is the family that teaches religious and class
identity, but not a political party identity. However, they do learn
to mistrust outside authority such as the government. The educational
system helps separate classes and promotes a conflictual working class
consciousness, and lets society be divided, thus contributing to the
fact that France is very politically divided and conflictual. Due to
these factors in political socialization, the people now began to pick
up their political culture.

Political culture is the psychological dimension of politics. In order
to understand politics, you must understand that it is more than
structures and procedures, it is all about perception. The perception
of the people includes the values, beliefs and attitudes people have
about their political institutions and procedures. These values and
beliefs determine the degree of legitimacy to which people attach to
their political system, and give the government the right to exercise
the power.

In Britain, the political culture has high trust in the political
institutions, and is non-ideological with very high consensus. It is a
pragmatic culture, any change in the existing political institutions
is slow, and there is a high respect for tradition in that if
something is ever needed to be changed, the past will still be
preserved. They prefer to "pour old wine into new bottles", which is
keeping the past alive in the present and future. There is a belief
within Britain...

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