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Ideology - Essay Example

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The word Ideology can be generally defined as ‘a system of ideas that explains and lends legitimacy to actions and beliefs of a social, religious, political, or corporate entity.’ …
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Download file to see previous pages The French philosopher Destutts de Tracy used the term to designate an epistemological position with respect to the origins of ideas. 2. Napoleon Bonaparte then used "ideologist" to designate fuzzy-minded revolutionary intellectuals, especially those associated with Destutts de Tracy. 3. Karl Marx used ideology to designate philosophical positions that claimed to be statements of natural law (e.g. political economy), but which when unmasked could be seen to be "really" deceptive defenses of capitalism. 4. Terry Eagleton in his book ‘Ideology an /introduction’, described ideology in the following manner: the process of production of meaning, signs & value in social life; a body of ideas characteristic of a particular social group or class; ideas/ false ideas which help to legitimate a dominant political power; systematically distorted communication; that which offers a position of a subject; forms of thought motivated by social interests and identity thinking; socially necessary illusion; the conjuncture of discourse and power; the medium in which conscious social actors make scenes of the world; action-oriented sets of beliefs; the confusion of linguistic and phenomenal reality; semiotic closure; the indispensable medium in which individuals live out their relations to a social structure.; The process whereby social life is converted to a natural reality. There are three aspects to the definition of ideology. First, ideology is a set of ideas; it isn’t a person, an act, or a type of society. A person can believe in an ideology, an act can be motivated by an ideology, and a society can be prearranged in reference to an ideology, yet they themselves are not ideologies. Second, ideology is a set of ideas that tries “justifying” by providing an incorrect reason for inequality. Third, ideology is a set of ideas that tries “justifying” an unequal social, economic, or political system. Not all types of inequities are justified by the ideas in an ideology, only those describing certain kinds of social arrangements, economic or political systems. Ideologies are also understood in three different kinds of languages: religious, philosophical and scientific. This makes them seem as if they are real and rational. It’s easier to picture an ideology from the past than one from the present. It is easy to see how the godly status of the pharaoh in ancient Egypt served an ideological objective. Yet which are the ideologies that exist today, and what kind of language would they use as reasoning for inequality and the control of society today? An example of a current dominant ideology is the beliefs that if you can afford to buy say, a luxurious yacht / personal helicopter, and then you should be free to spend that money any way you choose. But, of course, some people might rightly believe that there are many people in society who work very hard indeed and yet would never be able to afford such a luxury as a yacht / personal helicopter. They might say that the wealth generated within society should be more fairly shared between the so-called 'haves' and the 'have nots'. They might worry too that the power that can be wielded by someone who is wealthy enough to own a yacht is far in excess of the power that could be wielded by a poor person Any set of ideas dominating our culture or society represents ideology. For example different religions that are practiced in our world like Islam, Catholicism, Liberalism, and Marxism are different ideologies as each has a different way of thinking and living. Similarly, there are different family structures that we see around, like ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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