Ideology

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An ideology is a collection of normative beliefs and values that an individual or group holds for other than purely epistemic reasons. [1] The term is especially used to describe a system of ideas and ideals which forms the basis of economic or political theory and policy. [2] In political science it is used in a descriptive sense to refer to political belief systems. [3] In social science there are many political ideologies.

Normative generally means relating to an evaluative standard. Normativity is the phenomenon in human societies of designating some actions or outcomes as good or desirable or permissible and others as bad or undesirable or impermissible. A norm in this normative sense means a standard for evaluating or making judgments about behavior or outcomes. Normative is sometimes also used, somewhat confusingly, to mean relating to a descriptive standard: doing what is normally done or what most others are expected to do in practice. In this sense a norm is not evaluative, a basis for judging behavior or outcomes; it is simply a fact or observation about behavior or outcomes, without judgment. Many researchers in this field try to restrict the use of the term normative to the evaluative sense and refer to the description of behavior and outcomes as positive, descriptive, predictive, or empirical.

Political science is a social science which deals with systems of governance, and the analysis of political activities, political thoughts, and political behavior. It deals extensively with the theory and practice of politics which is commonly thought of as determining of the distribution of power and resources. Political scientists "see themselves engaged in revealing the relationships underlying political events and conditions, and from these revelations they attempt to construct general principles about the way the world of politics works."

Social science is a category of academic disciplines, concerned with society and the relationships among individuals within a society. Social science as a whole has many branches. These social sciences include, but are not limited to: anthropology, archaeology, communication studies, economics, history, human geography, jurisprudence, linguistics, political science, psychology, public health, and sociology. The term is also sometimes used to refer specifically to the field of sociology, the original "science of society", established in the 19th century. For a more detailed list of sub-disciplines within the social sciences see: Outline of social science.

Contents

The term was coined by Antoine Destutt de Tracy, a French Enlightenment aristocrat and philosopher, who conceived it in 1796 as the "science of ideas" during the French Reign of Terror by trying to develop a rational system of ideas to oppose the irrational impulses of the mob. However, in contemporary philosophy it is narrower in scope than that original concept, or the ideas expressed in broad concepts such as worldview , The Imaginary and in ontology . [4]

Antoine Destutt de Tracy French philosopher

Antoine Louis Claude Destutt, comte de Tracy was a French Enlightenment aristocrat and philosopher who coined the term "ideology".

France Republic with mainland in Europe and numerous oversea territories

France, officially the French Republic, is a country whose territory consists of metropolitan France in Western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. The metropolitan area of France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, and from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean. It is bordered by Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany to the northeast, Switzerland and Italy to the east, and Andorra and Spain to the south. The overseas territories include French Guiana in South America and several islands in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans. The country's 18 integral regions span a combined area of 643,801 square kilometres (248,573 sq mi) and a total population of 67.3 million. France, a sovereign state, is a unitary semi-presidential republic with its capital in Paris, the country's largest city and main cultural and commercial centre. Other major urban areas include Lyon, Marseille, Toulouse, Bordeaux, Lille and Nice.

Aristocracy (class) person who either possess hereditary titles granted by a monarch or are related to such people

The aristocracy is a social class that a particular society considers its highest order. In many states, the aristocracy included the upper class of people (aristocrats) with hereditary rank and titles. In some—such as ancient Greece, Rome, and India—aristocratic status came from belonging to a military caste, although it has also been common, notably in African societies, for aristocrats to belong to priestly dynasties. Aristocratic status can involve feudal or legal privileges. They are usually below only the monarch of a country or nation in its social hierarchy. In modern European societies, the aristocracy has often coincided with the nobility, a specific class that arose in the Middle Ages, but the term "aristocracy" is sometimes also applied to other elites, and is used as a more generic term when describing earlier and non-European societies.

In the sense defined by French Marxist philosopher Louis Althusser, ideology is "the imagined existence (or idea) of things as it relates to the real conditions of existence".

Louis Althusser French political philosopher

Louis Pierre Althusser was a French Marxist philosopher. He was born in Algeria and studied at the École Normale Supérieure in Paris, where he eventually became Professor of Philosophy.

Etymology and history

Antoine Destutt de Tracy (1754-1836) Destutt de Tracy.jpg
Antoine Destutt de Tracy (1754-1836)

The term "ideology" was born during the Reign of Terror of French Revolution, and acquired several other meanings thereafter.

Reign of Terror period during the french revolution

The Reign of Terror, or The Terror, refers to a period during the French Revolution after the First French Republic was established.

French Revolution social and political revolution in France and its colonies occurring from 1789 to 1798

The French Revolution was a period of far-reaching social and political upheaval in France and its colonies beginning in 1789. The Revolution overthrew the monarchy, established a republic, catalyzed violent periods of political turmoil, and finally culminated in a dictatorship under Napoleon who brought many of its principles to areas he conquered in Western Europe and beyond. Inspired by liberal and radical ideas, the Revolution profoundly altered the course of modern history, triggering the global decline of absolute monarchies while replacing them with republics and liberal democracies. Through the Revolutionary Wars, it unleashed a wave of global conflicts that extended from the Caribbean to the Middle East. Historians widely regard the Revolution as one of the most important events in human history.

The word, and the system of ideas associated with it, was coined by Antoine Destutt de Tracy in 1796, [5] while he was in prison pending trial during the Terror. The word was created by assembling the words idea, from Greek ἰδέα (near to the Lockean sense) and -logy , from -λογία . He devised the term for a "science of ideas" he hoped would form a secure foundation for the moral and political sciences. He based the word on two things: 1) sensations people experience as they interact with the material world; and 2) the ideas that form in their minds due to those sensations. He conceived "Ideology" as a liberal philosophy that would defend individual liberty, property, free markets, and constitutional limits on state power. He argues that among these aspects ideology is the most generic term, because the science of ideas also contains the study of their expression and deduction. [6]

Ancient Greek Version of the Greek language used from roughly the 9th century BCE to the 6th century CE

The Ancient Greek language includes the forms of Greek used in Ancient Greece and the ancient world from around the 9th century BCE to the 6th century CE. It is often roughly divided into the Archaic period, Classical period, and Hellenistic period. It is antedated in the second millennium BCE by Mycenaean Greek and succeeded by medieval Greek.

John Locke English philosopher and physician

John Locke was an English philosopher and physician, widely regarded as one of the most influential of Enlightenment thinkers and commonly known as the "Father of Liberalism". Considered one of the first of the British empiricists, following the tradition of Sir Francis Bacon, he is equally important to social contract theory. His work greatly affected the development of epistemology and political philosophy. His writings influenced Voltaire and Jean-Jacques Rousseau, many Scottish Enlightenment thinkers, as well as the American revolutionaries. His contributions to classical republicanism and liberal theory are reflected in the United States Declaration of Independence.

-logy is a suffix in the English language, used with words originally adapted from Ancient Greek ending in -λογία (-logia). The earliest English examples were anglicizations of the French -logie, which was in turn inherited from the Latin -logia. The suffix became productive in English from the 18th century, allowing the formation of new terms with no Latin or Greek precedent.

The coup that overthrew Maximilien Robespierre allowed Tracy to pursue his work. [6] [5]

Maximilien Robespierre French revolutionary lawyer and politician

Maximilien François Marie Isidore de Robespierre was a French lawyer and politician, as well as one of the best known and most influential figures associated with the French Revolution. As a member of the Constituent Assembly, the National Convention and the Jacobin Club, Robespierre was an outspoken advocate for the citizens without a voice, for their unrestricted admission to the National Guard, to public offices, and for the right to petition. He campaigned for universal manhood suffrage, abolition of celibacy, religious tolerance and the abolition of slavery in the French colonies. Robespierre played an important role after the Storming of the Tuileries, which led to the establishment of the First French Republic on 22 September 1792.

Tracy reacted to the terroristic phase of the revolution (during the Napoleonic regime) by trying to work out a rational system of ideas to oppose the irrational mob impulses that had nearly destroyed him.

Napoleon Bonaparte came to view 'Ideology' a term of abuse, which he often hurled against his liberal foes in Tracy's Institut National. According to Karl Mannheim's historical reconstruction of the shifts in the meaning of ideology, the modern meaning of the word was born when Napoleon used it to describe his opponents as "the ideologues". Karl Marx adopted this negative sense of the term and used it in his writings (he described Tracy as a "fischblütige Bourgeoisdoktrinär", a fishblooded bourgeois doctrinaire). [7]

Tracy's major book, The Elements of Ideology , was soon translated into the major languages of Europe, and in the next generation, when post-Napoleonic governments adopted a reactionary stance, influenced the Italian, Spanish and Russian thinkers who had begun to describe themselves as "liberals" and who attempted to reignite revolutionary activity in the early 1820s (these included the Carlist rebels in Spain, the Carbonari societies in France and Italy, and the Decembrists in Russia).

In the century after Tracy, the term ideology moved back and forth between positive and negative connotations.

(Perhaps the most accessible source for the near-original meaning of ideology is Hippolyte Taine's work on the Ancien Régime (the first volume of "Origins of Contemporary France"). He describes ideology as rather like teaching philosophy by the Socratic method, but without extending the vocabulary beyond what the general reader already possessed, and without the examples from observation that practical science would require. Taine identifies it not just with Destutt De Tracy, but also with his milieu, and includes Condillac as one of its precursors. (Destutt de Tracy read the works of Locke and Condillac while he was imprisoned during the Reign of Terror.))

The term "ideology" has dropped some of its pejorative sting, and has become a neutral term in the analysis of differing political opinions and views of social groups. [8] While Karl Marx situated the term within class struggle and domination, [9] [10] others believed it was a necessary part of institutional functioning and social integration. [11]

Analysis

During considerable analysis of different ideological patterns, some have described the analysis as meta-ideology (the study of the structure, form, and manifestation of ideologies).

Recent analysis tends to posit that ideology is a coherent system of ideas that rely on a few basic assumptions about reality that may or may not have any factual basis. Through this system, ideas become coherent repeated patterns through the subjective ongoing choices that people make. These ideas serve as the seed around which further thought grows. Believers in ideology range from passive acceptance through fervent advocacy to true belief. According to most recent analysis, ideologies are neither necessarily right nor wrong.

Definitions, such as by Manfred Steger and Paul James emphasize both the issue of patterning and contingent claims to truth:

Ideologies are patterned clusters of normatively imbued ideas and concepts, including particular representations of power relations. These conceptual maps help people navigate the complexity of their political universe and carry claims to social truth. [12]

The works of George Walford and Harold Walsby, done under the heading of systematic ideology, are attempts to explore the relationships between ideology and social systems [ example needed ]. Charles Blattberg offers an account that distinguishes political ideologies from political philosophies. [13]

David W. Minar describes six different ways the word "ideology" has been used:

  1. As a collection of certain ideas with certain kinds of content, usually normative
  2. As the form or internal logical structure that ideas have within a set
  3. By the role ideas play in human-social interaction
  4. By the role ideas play in the structure of an organization
  5. As meaning, whose purpose is persuasion
  6. As the locus of social interaction

For Willard A. Mullins an ideology should be contrasted with the related (but different) issues of utopia and historical myth. An ideology is composed of four basic characteristics:

  1. it must have power over cognition
  2. it must be capable of guiding one's evaluations;
  3. it must provide guidance towards action; and
  4. it must be logically coherent.

Terry Eagleton outlines (more or less in no particular order) some definitions of ideology: [14]

  1. The process of production of meanings, signs and values in social life
  2. A body of ideas characteristic of a particular social group or class
  3. Ideas that help legitimate a dominant political power
  4. False ideas that help legitimate a dominant political power
  5. Systematically distorted communication
  6. Ideas that offer a position for a subject
  7. Forms of thought motivated by social interests
  8. Identity thinking
  9. Socially necessary illusion
  10. The conjuncture of discourse and power
  11. The medium in which conscious social actors make sense of their world
  12. Action-oriented sets of beliefs
  13. The confusion of linguistic and phenomenal reality
  14. Semiotic closure [15]
  15. The indispensable medium in which individuals live out their relations to a social structure
  16. The process that converts social life to a natural reality

The German philosopher Christian Duncker called for a "critical reflection of the ideology concept" (2006). In his work, he strove to bring the concept of ideology into the foreground, as well as the closely connected concerns of epistemology and history. In this work, the term ideology is defined in terms of a system of presentations that explicitly or implicitly claim to absolute truth.

There are many different kinds of ideologies: political, social, epistemological, and ethical.

Marxist view

Karl Marx posits that a society's dominant ideology is integral to its superstructure. Karl Marx.jpg
Karl Marx posits that a society's dominant ideology is integral to its superstructure.

In the Marxist economic base and superstructure model of society, base denotes the relations of production and modes of production, and superstructure denotes the dominant ideology (religious, legal, political systems). The economic base of production determines the political superstructure of a society. Ruling class-interests determine the superstructure and the nature of the justifying ideology—actions feasible because the ruling class control the means of production. For example, in a feudal mode of production, religious ideology is the most prominent aspect of the superstructure, while in capitalist formations, ideologies such as liberalism and social democracy dominate. Hence the great importance of the ideology justifying a society; it politically confuses the alienated groups of society via false consciousness.

Some explanations have been presented. György Lukács proposes ideology as a projection of the class consciousness of the ruling class. Antonio Gramsci uses cultural hegemony to explain why the working-class have a false ideological conception of what their best interests are. Marx argued that "The class which has the means of material production at its disposal has control at the same time over the means of mental production." [16]

The Marxist formulation of "ideology as an instrument of social reproduction" is conceptually important to the sociology of knowledge, [17] viz. Karl Mannheim, Daniel Bell, and Jürgen Habermas et al. Moreover, Mannheim has developed, and progressed, from the "total" but "special" Marxist conception of ideology to a "general" and "total" ideological conception acknowledging that all ideology (including Marxism) resulted from social life, an idea developed by the sociologist Pierre Bourdieu. Slavoj Žižek and the earlier Frankfurt School added to the "general theory" of ideology a psychoanalytic insight that ideologies do not include only conscious, but also unconscious ideas.

Louis Althusser's ideological state apparatuses

Louis Althusser proposed both spiritual and materialistic conception of ideology, which made use of a special type of discourse: the lacunar discourse. A number of propositions, which are never untrue, suggest a number of other propositions, which are. In this way, the essence of the lacunar discourse is what is not told (but is suggested).

For example, the statement "All are equal before the law", which is a theoretical groundwork of current legal systems, suggests that all people may be of equal worth or have equal opportunities. This is not true, for the concept of private property and power over the means of production results in some people being able to own more (much more) than others. This power disparity contradicts the claim that all share both practical worth and future opportunity equally; for example, the rich can afford better legal representation, which practically privileges them before the law.

Althusser also proffered the concept of the ideological state apparatus to explain his theory of ideology. His first thesis was "ideology has no history": while individual ideologies have histories, interleaved with the general class struggle of society, the general form of ideology is external to history.

For Althusser, beliefs and ideas are the products of social practices, not the reverse. His thesis that "ideas are material" is illustrated by the "scandalous advice" of Pascal toward unbelievers: "Kneel and pray, and then you will believe." What is ultimately ideological for Althusser are not the subjective beliefs held in the conscious "minds" of human individuals, but rather discourses that produce these beliefs, the material institutions and rituals that individuals take part in without submitting it to conscious examination and so much more critical thinking.

Ideology and the Commodity in the works of Guy Debord

The French Marxist theorist Guy Debord, founding member of the Situationist International, argued that when the commodity becomes the "essential category" of society, i.e. when the process of commodification has been consummated to its fullest extent, the image of society propagated by the commodity (as it describes all of life as constituted by notions and objects deriving their value only as commodities tradeable in terms of exchange value), colonizes all of life and reduces society to a mere representation, The Society of the Spectacle. [18]

Silvio Vietta: ideology and rationality

The German cultural historian Silvio Vietta described the development and expansion of Western rationality from ancient times onwards as often accompanied by and shaped by ideologies like that of the "just war", the "true religion", racism, nationalism, or the vision of future history as a kind of heaven on earth in communism. He said that ideas like these became ideologies by giving hegemonic political actions an idealistic veneer and equipping their leaders with a higher and, in the "political religions" (Eric Voegelin), nearly God-like power, so that they became masters over the lives (and the deaths) of millions of people. He considered that ideologies therefore contributed to power politics irrational shields of ideas beneath which they could operate as manifestations of idealism. [19] [20]

Eric Hoffer: unifying agents

The American philosopher Eric Hoffer identified several elements that unify followers of a particular ideology: [21]

1) Hatred: "Mass movements can rise and spread without a God, but never without belief in a devil.". [22] The "ideal devil" is a foreigner. [23]

2) Imitation: "The less satisfaction we derive from being ourselves, the greater is our desire to be like others ... the more we mistrust our judgment and luck, the more are we ready to follow the example of others." [24]

3) Persuasion: The proselytizing zeal of propagandists derives from "a passionate search for something not yet found more than a desire to bestow something we already have". [25]

4) Coercion: Hoffer asserts that violence and fanaticism are interdependent. [26] People forcibly converted to Islamic or communist beliefs become as fanatical as those who did the forcing. [27] "It takes fanatical faith to rationalize our cowardice." [28]

5) Leadership: Without the leader, there is no movement. Often the leader must wait long in the wings until the time is ripe. He calls for sacrifices in the present, to justify his vision of a breathtaking future. The skills required include: audacity, brazenness, iron will, fanatical conviction; passionate hatred, cunning, a delight in symbols; ability to inspire blind faith in the masses and a group of able lieutenants. [29] Charlatanism is indispensable, and the leader often imitates both friend and foe, "a single-minded fashioning after a model". He will not lead followers towards the "promised land", but only "away from their unwanted selves". [30]

6) Action: Original thoughts are suppressed, and unity encouraged, if the masses are kept occupied through great projects, marches, exploration and industry. [31]

7) Suspicion: "There is prying and spying, tense watching and a tense awareness of being watched." This pathological mistrust goes unchallenged and encourages conformity, not dissent. [32]

Ronald Inglehart

Ronald Inglehart of the University of Michigan is author of the World Values Survey, which, since 1980, has mapped social attitudes in 100 countries representing 90% of global population. Results indicate that where people live is likely to closely correlate with their ideological beliefs. In much of Africa, South Asia and the Middle East, people prefer traditional beliefs and are less tolerant of liberal values. Protestant Europe, at the other extreme, adheres more to secular beliefs and liberal values. Alone among high-income countries, the United States is exceptional in its adherence to traditional beliefs, in this case Christianity.

Political ideologies

In social studies, a political ideology is a certain ethical set of ideals, principles, doctrines, myths, or symbols of a social movement, institution, class, or large group that explains how society should work, and offers some political and cultural blueprint for a certain social order. Political ideologies are concerned with many different aspects of a society, including (for example): the economy, education, health care, labor law, criminal law, the justice system, the provision of social security and social welfare, trade, the environment, minors, immigration, race, use of the military, patriotism, and established religion.

Political ideologies have two dimensions:

  1. Goals: how society should work
  2. Methods: the most appropriate ways to achieve the ideal arrangement

There are many proposed methods for the classification of political ideologies, each of these different methods generate a specific political spectrum.[ citation needed ] Ideologies also identify themselves by their position on the political spectrum (such as the left, the center or the right), though precision in this respect can very often become controversial. Finally, ideologies can be distinguished from political strategies (e.g., populism) and from single issues that a party may be built around (e.g. legalization of marijuana). Philosopher Michael Oakeshott provides a good definition of ideology as "the formalized abridgment of the supposed sub-stratum of the rational truth contained in the tradition".

A political ideology largely concerns itself with how to allocate power and to what ends power should be used. Some parties follow a certain ideology very closely, while others may take broad inspiration from a group of related ideologies without specifically embracing any one of them. Each political ideology contains certain ideas on what it considers the best form of government (e.g., democracy, demagogy, theocracy, caliphate etc.), and the best economic system (e.g. capitalism, socialism, etc.). Sometimes the same word is used to identify both an ideology and one of its main ideas. For instance, "socialism" may refer to an economic system, or it may refer to an ideology that supports that economic system.

Studies of the concept of ideology itself (rather than specific ideologies) have been carried out under the name of systematic ideology.

Post 1991, many commentators claim that we are living in a post-ideological age, [33] in which redemptive, all-encompassing ideologies have failed, and this view is often associated[ by whom? ] with Francis Fukuyama's writings on "the end of history". [34] On the other hand, Nienhueser sees research (in the field of human resource management) as ongoingly "generating ideology". [35]

Slavoj Zizek has pointed out how the very notion of post-ideology can enable the deepest, blindest form of ideology. A sort of false consciousness or false cynicism, engaged in for the purpose of lending one's point of view the respect of being objective, pretending neutral cynicism, without truly being so. Rather than help avoiding ideology, this lapse only deepens the commitment to an existing one. Zizek calls this "a post-modernist trap". [36] Peter Sloterdijk advanced the same idea already in 1988. [37]

There are several studies that show that affinity to a specific political ideology is heritable. [38] [39] [40] [41] [42] [43] [44] [45] [46]

Government ideology

When a political ideology becomes a dominantly pervasive component within a government, one can speak of an ideocracy. [47] Different forms of government utilize ideology in various ways, not always restricted to politics and society. Certain ideas and schools of thought become favored, or rejected, over others, depending on their compatibility with or use for the reigning social order.

Implementation

"Madmen in authority, who hear voices in the air, are distilling their frenzy from some academic scribbler of a few years back", said John Maynard Keynes. [48] How do ideologies become part of government policy? In The Anatomy of Revolution , Crane Brinton said that new ideology spreads when there is discontent with the old regime. [49] Extremists such as Lenin and Robespierre will overcome more moderate revolutionaries. [50] This stage is soon followed by Thermidor, a reining back of revolutionary enthusiasm under pragmatists like Stalin and Napoleon Bonaparte who bring "normalcy and equilibrium". [51] A very similar sequence ("men of ideas>fanatics>practical men of action") occurs in Eric Hoffer, The True Believer, [52] and Brinton's sequence is reiterated by J. William Fulbright. [53] The revolution thus becomes established as an Ideocracy, but its rise is likely to be checked by a Political midlife crisis.

Epistemological ideologies

Even when the challenging of existing beliefs is encouraged, as in scientific theories, the dominant paradigm or mindset can prevent certain challenges, theories, or experiments from being advanced.

A special case of science adopted as ideology is that of ecology, which studies the relationships among living things on Earth. Perceptual psychologist James J. Gibson believed that human perception of ecological relationships was the basis of self-awareness and cognition itself. Linguist George Lakoff has proposed a cognitive science of mathematics wherein even the most fundamental ideas of arithmetic would be seen as consequences or products of human perception—which is itself necessarily evolved within an ecology.

Deep ecology and the modern ecology movement (and, to a lesser degree, Green parties) appear to have adopted ecological sciences as a positive ideology.

Some accuse ecological economics of likewise turning scientific theory into political economy, although theses in that science can often be tested. The modern practice of green economics fuses both approaches and seems to be part science, part ideology.

This is far from the only theory of economics raised to ideology status. Some notable economically based ideologies include neoliberalism, monetarism, mercantilism, mixed economy, social Darwinism, communism, laissez-faire economics, and free trade. There are also current theories of safe trade and fair trade that can be seen as ideologies.

Psychological research

Psychological research [54] increasingly suggests that ideologies reflect (unconscious) motivational processes, as opposed to the view that political convictions always reflect independent and unbiased thinking. Jost, Ledgerwood and Hardin proposed in 2008 that ideologies may function as prepackaged units of interpretation that spread because of basic human motives to understand the world, avoid existential threat, and maintain valued interpersonal relationships. [54] These authors conclude that such motives may lead disproportionately to the adoption of system-justifying worldviews. Psychologists have generally found that personality traits, individual difference variables, needs, and ideological beliefs seem to have a common thread.[ citation needed ]

Ideology and semiotic theory

According to the semiotician Bob Hodge, ideology "identifies a unitary object that incorporates complex sets of meanings with the social agents and processes that produced them. No other term captures this object as well as 'ideology'. Foucault's 'episteme' is too narrow and abstract, not social enough. His 'discourse', popular because it covers some of ideology's terrain with less baggage, is too confined to verbal systems. 'Worldview' is too metaphysical, 'propaganda' too loaded. Despite or because of its contradictions, 'ideology' still plays a key role in semiotics oriented to social, political life." [55] Authors such as Michael Freeden have also recently incorporated a semantic analysis to the study of ideologies.

Sociological uses

Sociologists define ideology as "cultural beliefs that justify particular social arrangements, including patterns of inequality". [56] Dominant groups use these sets of cultural beliefs and practices to justify the systems of inequality that maintain their group's social power over non-dominant groups. Ideologies use a society's symbol system to organize social relations in a hierarchy, with some social identities being superior to other social identities, which are considered inferior. The dominant ideology in a society is passed along through the society's major social institutions, such as the media, the family, education, and religion. [57] As societies changed throughout history, so did the ideologies that justified systems of inequality. [56]

Sociological examples of ideologies include: racism; sexism; heterosexism; ableism; and ethnocentrism. [58]

Quotations

See also

Related Research Articles

Slavoj Žižek Slovene philosopher

Slavoj Žižek is a Slovenian philosopher. He is a professor at the Institute for Sociology and Philosophy at the University of Ljubljana and international director of the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities of the University of London. He works in subjects including continental philosophy, political theory, cultural studies, psychoanalysis, film criticism, Marxism, Hegelianism and theology.

Cultural hegemony Marxist notion of cultural dominance

In Marxist philosophy, cultural hegemony is the domination of a culturally diverse society by the ruling class who manipulate the culture of that society—the beliefs, explanations, perceptions, values, and mores—so that their imposed, ruling-class worldview becomes the accepted cultural norm; the universally valid dominant ideology, which justifies the social, political, and economic status quo as natural and inevitable, perpetual and beneficial for everyone, rather than as artificial social constructs that benefit only the ruling class.

Social philosophy branch of philosophy

Social philosophy is the study of questions about social behavior and interpretations of society and social institutions in terms of ethical values rather than empirical relations. Social philosophers place new emphasis on understanding the social contexts for political, legal, moral, and cultural questions, and to the development of novel theoretical frameworks, from social ontology to care ethics to cosmopolitan theories of democracy, human rights, gender equity and global justice.

Dominant ideology

In Marxist philosophy, the term dominant ideology denotes the attitudes, beliefs, values, and morals shared by the majority of the people in a given society. As a mechanism of social control, the dominant ideology frames how the majority of the population thinks about the nature of society, their place in society, and their connection to a social class.

<i>The True Believer</i> book by Eric Hoffer

The True Believer: Thoughts On The Nature Of Mass Movements is a 1951 social psychology book by American writer Eric Hoffer, in which the author discusses the psychological causes of fanaticism.

Marxism economic and sociopolitical worldview based on the works of Karl Marx

Marxism is a theory and method of working class self-emancipation. As a theory, it relies on a method of socioeconomic analysis that views class relations and social conflict using a materialist interpretation of historical development and takes a dialectical view of social transformation. It originates from the works of 19th-century German philosophers Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels.

Economic determinism

Economic determinism is a socioeconomic theory that economic relationships are the foundation upon which all other social and political arrangements in society are based. The theory stresses that societies are divided into competing economic classes whose relative political power is determined by the nature of the economic system. In the version associated with Karl Marx, the emphasis is on the proletariat who are considered to be locked in a class struggle with the capitalist class, which will eventually end with the revolutionary overthrow of the capitalist system and the gradual development of socialism. Marxist thinkers have dismissed plain and unilateral economic determinism as a form of "vulgar Marxism", or "economism", nowhere included in Marx's works.

In social theory and philosophy, antihumanism is a theory that is critical of traditional humanism and traditional ideas about humanity and the human condition. Central to antihumanism is the view that concepts of "human nature", "man", or "humanity" should be rejected as historically relative or metaphysical.

A mass movement denotes a political party or movement which is supported by large segments of a population. Political movements that typically advocate the creation of a mass movement include the ideologies of communism and fascism. Both communists and fascists typically support the creation of mass movements as a means to overthrow a government and create their own government, the mass movement then being used afterwards to protect the government from being overthrown itself.

Freudo-Marxism

Freudo-Marxism is a loose designation for philosophies that have been informed by or have attempted to synthesize the works of Karl Marx and the psychoanalytic theory of Sigmund Freud.

Marxist schools of thought

Marxism is a method of socioeconomic analysis that frames capitalism through a paradigm of exploitation, analyzes class relations and social conflict using a materialist interpretation of historical development and takes a dialectical view of social transformation. While it originates from the works of 19th century German philosophers Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, Marxism has had several different schools of thought.

Ideocracy is "governance of a state according to the principles of a particular (political) ideology; a state or country governed in this way". It is government based on a monistic ideology — as distinct from an authoritarian state which is characterized by strong central power and limited political freedoms. An ideocratic state can either be totalitarian—citizens being forced to follow an ideology—or populist.

Reification (Marxism)

In Marxism, reification is the process by which social relations are perceived as inherent attributes of the people involved in them, or attributes of some product of the relation, such as a traded commodity.

Following the work of Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, Karl Marx outlined the workings of a political consciousness.

Marxist–Leninist atheism

In the philosophy of Marxism, Marxist–Leninist atheism is the irreligious and anti-clerical element of Marxism–Leninism, the official state ideology of the Soviet Union. Based upon a dialectical-materialist understanding of humanity's place in Nature, Marxist–Leninist atheism proposes that religion is the opium of the people, meant to promote a person's passive acceptance of his and her poverty and exploitation as the normal way of human life on Earth in the hope of a spiritual reward after death; thus, Marxism–Leninism advocates atheism, rather than religious belief.

"Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses " (French: "Idéologie et appareils idéologiques d’État is an essay by the French Marxist philosopher Louis Althusser. First published in 1970, it advances Althusser's theory of ideology. Where Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels posited a thinly-sketched theory of ideology as false consciousness, Althusser draws upon the works of later theorists such as Antonio Gramsci, Sigmund Freud and Jacques Lacan to proffer a more elaborate redefinition of the theory. Althusser's theory of ideology has remained influential since it was written.

Marxist philosophy Philosophy influenced by Marxist political thought

Marxist philosophy or Marxist theory are works in philosophy that are strongly influenced by Karl Marx's materialist approach to theory, or works written by Marxists. Marxist philosophy may be broadly divided into Western Marxism, which drew out of various sources, and the official philosophy in the Soviet Union, which enforced a rigid reading of Marx called dialectical materialism, in particular during the 1930s. Marxist philosophy is not a strictly defined sub-field of philosophy, because the diverse influence of Marxist theory has extended into fields as varied as aesthetics, ethics, ontology, epistemology, theoretical psychology and philosophy of science, as well as its obvious influence on political philosophy and the philosophy of history. The key characteristics of Marxism in philosophy are its materialism and its commitment to political practice as the end goal of all thought.

False consciousness False consciousness

False consciousness is a term used primarily by Marxist sociologists to describe ways in which material, ideological, and institutional processes are said to mislead members of the proletariat and other class actors within capitalist societies, concealing the exploitation intrinsic to the social relations between classes.

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Sources