Althusser

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Althusser and Ideology
Althusser has three theses on ideology and how ideology reproduces conditions of production. His theses include that ideology is the “representation of the imaginary relationship of individuals to their real conditions of existence (1),” ideology has a material existence,” and “ideology interpellates individuals as Subjects.” These three theses disassociate ideologies as a whole and take ideology apart from ideologies.

Althusser’s first thesis explains that a person’s thoughts and beliefs are not given to you when you are born. Instead, they are obtained through social practices and through society. One’s judgments, beliefs, and choices become the product of social practices. This brings importance of production and productive forces. Althusser relates his first thesis to an “objective illusion, i.e., one out there in the world, blocking our view of its reality as well as of our place/role/function in that reality, shifting it to the domain of the subject, where, in effect, there can be no ‘false consciousness,’ because all consciousness is false consciousness (2).” This quote explains that our thoughts, beliefs, as well as desires, are created through the structure of society. We are blinded by society that we don’t even know what ideology truly is because what we see is an illusion. This illusion gives us a false consciousness yet there can be no false consciousness because all consciousness is not real.

Thesis number two states that “ideology has a material existence (1)” meaning what we believe in will influence the way we act. The Christian Religious Ideology can relate to this thesis because a Christian’s norms and values are their beliefs therefore they act upon the way they believe God wants them to. Ideology’s “material existence” is an individual’s actions and practices. Also, it means that there are material consequences.

Althusser’s third thesis annotates that ideology “interpellates individuals as...
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