A discussion of political culture in the framework of any systems analysis must do justice both to the problem of measuring quantity, and also attempt to find a means of comparing quality. Though in many senses quality is the first-order problem, convenience dictates a discussion of quantity first. An attempt will be made to find concepts for the criteria of measurement; in what way can culture be defined for purposes of quantitative measurement? The criterion chosen is, simply stated, knowledge and evaluation of problems of government, with particular reference to the orientation towards institutionalized authority. Some examples will be given of the types of problems involved. Next, and closely connected with this, is the relationship between political culture and the notion of participation. Almond and Verba in the Civic Culture have relied mainly on participation as a means of classifying political cultures; a brief critique of this approach is undertaken. At the same time the problem of ideology and consciousness in the context of political culture must be raised here. Next it will be necessary to search for indices in order to measure varying levels of culture and some possible alternatives are examined. An important distinction between 'hard' indices of acculturation, and 'soft' indices related to orientations is emphasized. Finally, the notion of a continuum of levels of political culture is broken down into five different thresholds, according to which individual societies, and sectors of society, can be classified and compared.
Without a discussion of quality there cannot really be any discussion of quantity or extent of culture, otherwise we do not really know what we are measuring. 1 However, there are good reasons for beginning here with a discussion of quantity. For one thing, a dis____________________