Persuasion and Propaganda in Political Culture

Subject: Political
Type: Synthesis Essay
Pages: 4
Word count: 1131
Topics: American Culture, John F. Kennedy, Propaganda

Table of Contents


Political Persuasion and propaganda are vital in defining the political culture of a given environment. In fact, the two concepts aid in understanding the twist of behaviors of individuals as well as their involvement in political matters. Persuasion alters individuals’ behavior, belief, and attitude while propaganda circulates biased information, opinions, and ideas so as to control attitudes. Political persuasion and propaganda alters, motivates, and influences political behaviors of individuals, which in turn shapes the political culture of an environment.

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Political cultures are greatly influenced by the efforts created by the actors’ motivation, preferences, and interests of the actors as well as the opportunities and limitations existing in their environment. As explained by Berman et al. (2001), investigating political cultures involves taking a keen look at established control mechanisms and the condition developed by actors who are believed to have some specific interests. Additionally, the behaviors of the actors are put under scrutiny, and their conduct is linked to the existing control mechanism and the accepted interests within their environment.

The interests of the state are established through the process of social interactions rather than a discovery of rational actors in the society. A good number of political contributors argue that constructed state interests and identifies are fundamental in shaping the conduct of the state as well as those of the political actors (Berman et al., 2001). Furthermore, many scholars agree that ideas play a vital role in determining the political culture of an environment even if political actors have not incorporated them. In such scenarios, ideas transform interests into results by altering the structures that link different course of action.

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For instance, a majority of international policies are applied through shaping the environment in which they operate than reshaping the interests and preferences of political actors. All over the world, states have large armies at their disposal because they are considered as fundamental constituents of a nation. On the other hand, chemical weapons are viewed as taboo by numerous states who refrain from adopting them due to the fear of sanctions and punishment from elite countries as well as their limited role in modern war (Krebs & Jackson, 2007).

Contemporary research conducted in the United States reveals that throughout the American history, citizens have shown a high level of uncertainty towards their government and other relevant political allies. In other words, this notion raises so many questions about the American government’s involvement in discreet conspiracies. According to Oliver & Wood (2014), a good number of Americans believe in narratives about secret evil-minded groups influencing political scenarios and social crisis as a way of strengthening their wicked agendas in the name of conspiracy theory.

Numerous subjects have incorporated conspiratorial theories in their analysis ranging from the Assassination of President Kennedy to the heinous bombing witnessed in Boston marathon of 2013.  The mentioned scenarios are just a few examples of subjects attracting wide debates from mass population. Oliver & Wood (2014) further suggests that feedback from American participants in a recent study concluded that a third of Americans population still believe that the September 11th attack was facilitated by federal officials. Additionally, the federal officials carried out minimal efforts to stop the bombing in order for the country to declare war against the Middle East nations.

Civil education and training translate to a larger number of individuals taking part in political matters which in turns defines the political culture and democratic unity. A study on the impact of civil of education was conducted by introducing the process in three countries; South Africa, Dominican Republic, and Poland. Besides, the civic education program trained individuals on democratic factors, human rights, self-governance and community problem solving (Finkel, 2003). From the study, important findings were gathered which largely impacted the political involvement of individuals in civic aspects. Across the three countries, people trained in civil education engaged actively in regional politics and broader margins existed when compared to nonparticipants. From the findings, taking part in civic education and democracy training translated to a larger number of individuals in the political platform.

Civil education plays a fundamental role in shaping the behaviors of individuals within a society as long as the process is conducted through secondary involvement such as community organization, joined the political action and local problem solving (Finkel, 2003). Moreover, the author confirms that civil education programs incorporating active approaches such as role-playing, dramatization and collective decision making strategies influences more individuals towards political orientation.  Similarly, individuals with higher motivation as well as those with adequate political resources had a great impact on mobilizing social networks and groups. In other words; these people are impacted greatly by civic education as their position helps them to integrate the knowledge acquired into appropriate democratic beliefs.

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Scholars and policymakers have defined the Political culture of the Chinese regime through studying their information environment as well as the internet activities of the country. In terms of physical space, the Chinese regime is establishing artificial islands, however; the virtual space defines the relationship between the government and its people (KING et al., 2017). Information obtained from a good number of journalists, scholars and social media users in China reveals substantial 50c party efforts engaging in arguments and campaigns aimed at defending the regime, its decisions, leaders, and policies proposed.  In addition, the evidence also shows that 50c party is devoted in cheering the state, embracing the symbols of the regime as well as supporting the history of the communist party of China (King et al., 2017, p.497).

Scholars have interpreted the above activities as strategies used by the ruling Chinese regime in hiding the collective injustices, unfairness and the overall negativity. Moreover, 50c party comprises of government employees and sympathizers who work full and part-time jobs for the regime. In fact, the 50c party is made up of a massive workforce who produces approximately 448 million posts per year with half the number being directed to government websites for comments (King et al., 2017, p.497).


The effectiveness of persuasion and propaganda depends entirely on the approaches used to achieve the desired political culture.  Studying different political cultures helps in understanding how approaches of persuasion and propaganda come into play. In the American political culture, conspiratorial theories have been in use since the beginning of history. For example, different conspiracies are in place to explain the assassination of President Kennedy and the terrorist attack in the Boston marathon of 2013.   On the other hand, the Chinese regime uses 50c party to control the environment of information and the internet while applauding the ruling Communist Party founded on the core of injustices. Finally, countries such as Poland and South Africa have embraced civil education as a way of increasing democratic knowledge and regional political participation.

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  1. Berman, S., Inglehart, R., Katzenstein, P., Laitin, D., & McNamara, K. 2001,Ideas, Norms, and Culture in Political Analysis. Comparative Politics, 33(2), 231.
  2. Finkel, S. E. 2003,Can Democracy Be Taught? Journal of Democracy, 14(4), 137-151.
  3. King, G., Pan, J., & Roberts, M. E. 2017, How the Chinese Government Fabricates Social Media Posts for Strategic Distraction, Not Engaged Argument. American Political Science Review, 111(03), 484-501.
  4. Krebs, R. R., & Jackson, P. T. 2007, Twisting Tongues and Twisting Arms: The Power of Political Rhetoric. European Journal of International Relation, 13(1), 35-66.
  5. Oliver, J. E., & Wood, T. J. 2014, Conspiracy Theories and the Paranoid Style(s) of Mass Opinion. American Journal of Political Science, 58(4), 952-966.
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