Political subcultures in Germany

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Virginia Tech


West Germany's political culture has been intensively studied during the existence of the Federal Republic of Germany. However, most studies explore The West German Political Culture as a whole. They do not take into account that Germany is a country which consists of different regions with their own history and tradition. This paper is essentially an effort to rectify this situation by attempting to determine if there are any distinguishable political subcultures in Germany. The assumption is, that historical, phenomena are important in explaining the present political culture of West Germany. In order to determine whether the historical development of West German political culture led to different present political subcultures two approaches were used. First, a qualitative approach; that is a socio-historical library-based analysis, was used. From this analysis propositions for the present West German political subcultures were derived. They were tested with an empirical analysis of survey data from a 1975 sample of West Germans. Suggestions based on the socio-historical analysis accounting for differences in contemporary political culture only partly hold true in the empirical analysis. This paper is a preliminary examination of West German political subcultures offering suggestions and direction for future research.