9914779-background-concept-wordcloud-illustration-of-ideology-glowing-lightPicture source:

As I understand ideology is a system of values, believes, and attitudes.  Ideology belongs to the social groups. It helps us to make sense of reality, and feel the world around and understand how it should be.  First who gave definition of Ideology are Marks and Engels. They claimed that ideology is always kept by the power of elites. They suppose that dominant values belong to those who have power. Louis Althusser  (1971) says that there are two ways to make people do what they want – Repressive state apparatuses it can be a police an army, or if we talk about the school it is a principal, who order you what to do.  The second is the Ideological State Apparatuses is the way that society get the things to do the way they want, forming or shaping the way they think. According to Louis Althusser (1971) there are some features that make the concept of ideology. The first one is ideology do not have history.  This statement was mentioned in the in Marks` work that related ideology to the world of views of social classes (Kellner, 1981) however, Althusser (1971) described it from the different point of view.  He claims that ideology have own structure and functions which applied in the stable manner. Ideology has no history but, therefore, it shows itself as a permanent and valid around the history. The second is ideology operates individuals. Althusser (1971) suppose that individuals act on their own, and feel free because of mechanisms that demonstrates manners in daily life. The third is Ideology represents the imaginary relationship of individuals to their real conditions of existence. It means that ideology is people`s relation to the reality of imaginary distortion rather than distorted image of reality. Next is ideology has material existence.

People always act in the way they believe. They do actions that related to their ideology, for example, if they believe in God they go to the mosque.  Ideology hails or interpolates concrete individuals as a subject and individuals are already subjects. To simplify we can overview different kind of ideology. If for example we take Marxist Ideology we can say that they believe in the shaped property, collectivism, cooperation, social responsibility and rehouses shared by needs. Such kind of ideology belongs to many western countries.  Property rights, small government, individualism, competition, market freedom these are he values to the Capitalist Ideology. Patriarchal ideology believes in the male property ownership, male inheritance. Also they see men as protectors and man in political control. For the feminist ideology values gender equality, reproductive freedom of choice for women, equitable division of labor in the home.

This is how I understand the term Ideology. What is IDEOLOGY for you?


Althusser, L. (1971). Ideology and ideological state apparatuses (notes towards an      investigation). Lenin and philosophy and other essays, 1971-127.

Fullan, M. (2013). The Jossey-Bass reader on educational leadership. M. Grogan (Ed.). John Wiley & Sons.

Razik, T. A., & Swanson, A. D. (1995). Fundamental concepts of educational leadership and  management. Merrill.

Tomlinson H., (2013) Educational Leadership Personal Growth for Professional Development.

Ward, A. (2006). Handbook of social psychology (p. 571). J. D. DeLamater (Ed.). Springer.

2 thoughts on “Ideology

  1. Thanks for the post, Dariga! I found this topic really worth discussing, since, as far as I remeber, according to Althusser, ideology also has a material existence, and treats concrete individuals as subjects. That is my vision of an ideology, when it is presented in the actions rather than on words only, for example, in the rituals or a behavior of a particular group of society. Therefore, I believe, real ideology isn’t contstrained only by some postulates in theory, rather, it should show its application on practice, say, for example, an ideology of a school culture within a particular school, with its own rites, holidays and some other attributes like uniform, for example.


  2. Thank you, Dariga! This is relly interesting topic to discuss.
    We all are a part of a certain society. Each society has its own beliefs, views, values and principles, traditions and customs and it turns into something that people cannot live without. These common principles are reflected everywhere – public communication, work, school, mass media, leisure activities, art and etc. These traditions are given from generation to generation through education. In my opinion, this phenomenon is called ideology. Personally, when I hear the word ideology, the Soviet Union period comes to my mind and it has a reason. The Soviet rules of a strict totalitarian regime were seen in every aspects of life. The streets were full of banners, posters with the images of heroic workers with the tools in their hands as a call for optimism. This is actually how ideology is reflected in the society.


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