The Role of Political Culture in Political-Social Participation of Iranian People

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Faculty of Geography, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran

2 Faculty of Geography, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran.



Extended Abstract


In democratic systems, political-social partnerships at the community level are significant not only for the realization of democracy and freedom in the country but also for progress and development in various dimensions and fields. The continuous and widespread presence of people in various fields will bring social vitality, national unity, and solidarity. In other words, the high participation of people in public affairs, in addition to the fact that it can lead to people-based statehood at the local and national levels, but also the participation of individual members of the society can show unity, national unity and the unity of the government and the nation. Various factors affect the level of participation, which undoubtedly requires comprehensive and detailed research. However, one of the most important variables that can affect the level of participation of the people of a society and even their non-participation is the society's political culture. Historical background and political culture undeniably influence society's minds and thoughts. As much as the political culture of the society expresses the importance of the nation's position and includes components that are the basis for the more significant and continuous presence of the people in the political-social arenas, it can be expected that the society has inherited a highly participatory political culture. In other words, the political culture of each society has several characteristics, some of which can positively affect the participation rate, and others lead to a decrease in the participation rate and even non-participation of the people. Knowledge of the components of societies' political culture has received much attention from thinkers in this field. However, only some researchers have considered these components in line with the general participation of the people. Therefore, in this research, the effort is to identify these components and study their importance.


The current research is included in the applied research group, which is both qualitative and quantitative. In this research, a descriptive-analytical approach has been used to investigate and identify the factors affecting the level of participation and non-participation of Iranian people in political and social fields. According to the type of research, the method of collecting information was qualitative and quantitative. In the qualitative part, relying on library resources and using authentic books and articles, indicators influencing the level of participation and non-participation were identified and analyzed, and in the quantitative part, the opinions and views of experts were used using an elite questionnaire. The statistical population and research sample size include 50 people with master's degrees and a doctorate in fields related to the subject (including political geography, political science, sociology, etc.). The questionnaire was analyzed through weighted averaging, and the factor analysis method was used to categorize the indicators with the help of SPSS software.

Results and discussion

The findings of this research are generally divided into two groups as 1) factors that affect the level of political-social participation of the Iranian people and 2) factors that affect the lack of political-social participation of the people. Three main indicators are national motivations (including motivation to strengthen national independence, sense of patriotism, sense of xenophobia, sense of duty and commitment to the society), dependence on the ruling system (including unquestioning obedience to those in power, the expectation to do everything by the government, the influence of political personalities and elites, the role of religion and religious view in participation, considering the government sacred) and political role-playing (including the feeling of political and social satisfaction, the feeling of political freedom, trust in the political system, the feeling of effectiveness in the political structure of the country, the feeling of influencing the political power), they affect the level of participation. Effective factors in non-participation in two general indicators of political mistrust (including political aversion and reluctance to political affairs, negative attitude towards political power, the mentality of the existence of a gap between the people and the government, general distrust of political parties and groups) and also the lack of collective spirit (including the lack of acceptance of collective activities and organizational, preference of individual benefits over collective benefits, lack of spirit of tolerance in the society) were classified and discussed.


Political development, democracy, and the progress of society imply the level of participation of its people in various political and social fields; in this direction, the political culture of a country can play a significant role. In this article, it was discussed that the components of political culture have a direct relationship with the level of participation or non-participation of the people of a society. According to the characteristics of the Iranian society, the historical background of Iran, and its political culture in general, several components were identified and analyzed in detail. The sense of patriotism and the strengthening of national independence have been of considerable importance in the field of national motives. This means that regardless of their views on the government institution, the Iranian society participates and plays a role in various partnerships with the motivation of patriotism and patriotism. After examining the level of people's participation, the factors affecting non-participation were also discussed, during which it was revealed that two indicators of political distrust and lack of collective spirit can affect these conditions. In the field of political mistrust, it should be stated that the negative attitude toward political power and mistrust of political parties and groups, in line with the previously mentioned low trust in the political system, has caused people to have less trust in political and social institutions. In the lack of collective spirit, the importance of individual interests and prioritizing them over national interests has caused the factor of preference of individual interests over collective interests to have the most significant effect on the lack of political-social participation.


Main Subjects

Articles in Press, Accepted Manuscript
Available Online from 13 April 2024
  • Receive Date: 15 December 2023
  • Revise Date: 11 April 2024
  • Accept Date: 13 April 2024