Overview of Ideaology

Ideology – What is ideology?

According to

Webster’s Tenth New Collegiate Dictionary,

“ideology” is “visionary theorizing.”
Alternatively, it is “a systematic body of concepts especially
about human life or culture,” or “a manner or the content of
thinking characteristic of an individual, group, or culture.”
Malcolm Hamilton, in his article “The Elements of the Concept of
Ideology,” offers a more scholarly formulation, writing that
ideology is “a system of collectively held normative and reputedly
factual ideas and beliefs and attitudes advocating and/or justifying a
particular pattern of political and/or economic relationships,
arrangements, and conduct.” The historian Michael Hunt, meanwhile,
views ideology in more specific terms as performing a particular function:
it is “an interrelated set of convictions or assumptions that
reduces the complexities of a particular slice of reality to easily
comprehensible terms and suggests appropriate ways of dealing with that
reality.” These are just a few examples of scholars’ many
efforts to define ideology.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to…

What Is an Ideology?

An ideology is a set of beliefs that affects our outlook on the
world.Our ideology is our most closely held set of values and feelings, and it acts
as the filter through which we see everything and everybody.In fact, these beliefs
are often so close to us that we do not realize that they are there.We simply think
that our beliefs are natural and obviously true.Religion is one type of ideology,
and religious belief affects a person’s views.

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What Does ideology Mean?

Ideology has been in use in English since the end of the 18th century and is one of the few words whose coiner we can identify.The French writer A.L.C.Destutt de Tracy proposed it as a term to designate the “science of ideas,” and in that sense the word was quickly borrowed into English.Though ideology originated as a serious philosophical term, within a few decades it took on connotations of impracticality thanks to Napoleon, who used it in a derisive manner.Today, the word most often refers to “a systematic body of concepts,” especially those of a particular group or political party.

Is Polarization Asymmetrical?

The ideological consolidation nationwide has happened on both the left and the right of the political spectrum, but the long-term shift among Democrats stands out as particularly noteworthy.The share of Democrats who are liberal on all or most value dimensions has nearly doubled from just 30% in 1994 to 56% today.The share who are consistently liberal has quadrupled from just 5% to 23% over the past 20 years.

Studying ideology: A scientific endeavour?

The above settings to ideology merit scrutiny in greater detail.If Destutt de Tracy aspired to create a science of ideology, of judging and reasoning, of knowing how our ideas were formulated and then directing them to produce happiness,6 more recent views have contrasted ideology with science or, more specifically, with the empiricism at the heart of science.When positioning ideology on an epistemological dimension, its antecedents reflect the 19th-century positivist legacy concerning the status of the social sciences that was still debated animatedly until the 1970s and the arrival of the so-called ‘linguistic turn’.A typical case in point is Sartori, locating ideology—as did Marx from a very different perspective—on a truth-error dichotomy, and contrasting it specifically with ‘science and valid knowledge’, questioning its applicability to ‘the real world’ because it did not ‘fall under the jurisdiction of logic and verification’.7 That perspective related to predominant mid-century views about the closed totality of ideology—deductive, rationalistic and non-empirical, a state of ‘dogmatic impermeability both to evidence and to argument’.8 Recall also the approach of Karl Popper in The Open Society and its Enemies, for whom the scientific method and its objectivity, attained through public critique, testing and replicability, offered the only protection from Mannheimian ‘total ideologies’, under which Popper included ‘our own system of prejudices’ and ‘ideological follies’.9 Mere knowledge of our ideological biases, as exposed by Marx and Mannheim, seemed to Popper to proffer no hope of getting rid of them.But getting rid of them was still the crux of the matter.

One Principle to Rule them All?

What I’ve lately come to appreciate is that marshalling libertarian principles (no matter how thoughtfully or liberally considered) to referee public-policy disputes is difficult to justify in the first place.Why, after all, is liberty objectively more important than other considerations that millions of people in this country hold dear, such as the pursuit of social justice, equity, community, virtue (“statecraft as soulcraft,” as George Will once put it), pluralism, material well-being, or any number of concerns that animate people in politics? Ideology is nothing if not the elevation of one particular concern as more important than others.As Michael Oakeshott noted, however, “Obsession with a single problem, however important, is always dangerous in politics; except in time of war, no society has so simple a life that one element in it can, without loss, be made the centre and circumference of all political activity.

Whose ideology and why?

Another difference encountered in the literature on ideology relates to the scope of ideologies.As mentioned above, there are authors who suggest that ideologies are general, all-pervasive and defining of a ‘society’ or a ‘system’, and there are authors who distinguish between several, group-specific ideologies.Such group-specific ideologies would be, for instance, class ideologies, gender-ideologies, ethnic group ideologies and so forth.Such differences cross-cut the general difference between the idealist and materialist main schools outlined earlier, but they raise issues of function and agency.

Why register for an account?

Ideology often has been regarded by sociologists as an elusive and muddy concept.We believe that the understanding of this core concept can be improved by the use of constructs drawn from a pragmatic, interactionist perspective.We argue specifically that 1) ideologies are based on a set of relatively simple metaphors and images to which people respond on the basis of their shared experience and expectations; 2) ideologies are not purely cognitive, but depend principally on emotional responses; 3) ideologies are presented at such times and in such ways as to enhance the public impression (and justify the claims and resources) of presenters and/or adherents; ideological enactment is fundamentally dramaturgical and interactional; and 4) ideologies are linked to groups and to the relationships between groups, which in turn depend on a set of resources in order to enact ideologies effectively.Ideologies are symbolic, affective, behavioral, and relational.In focusing on these themes, we avoid some overabstract conceptions of ideology that are endemic in social scientific literature.Instead we emphasize how ideologies can be linked to lived experience and to social interaction-a microsociological grounding of ideology.To understand the dynamics of ideology we examine ideologies about the environment, drawing from an ethnographic investigation of amateur mushroom collectors.

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What Are Ideological Systems?

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In studying ideology of both the mass public and political elites, Converse (1964) examined two characteristics of attitudes in belief systems, attitude centrality and range.He argued that in political belief systems some attitudes are held more strongly and the number of political attitudes held varies.Converse used the concept of constraint to tie these characteristics together and identify ideological thinking.Constraint is the idea that attitudes are linked and interdependent, such that holding one belief should be accompanied by holding another belief.For example, an individual who supports increased spending for education should also favor more spending for health care because both attitudes indicate a liberal belief in an enhanced role for government.Thus, ideological individuals hold some centrally important beliefs that are connected to other attitudes in a wide-ranging system.

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for anyone with an interest in politics, history and propaganda.No previous experience or qualifications are required.

History of Ideaology