Discuss the Notions of Ideology and/or False Consciousness.

Topics: Marxism, Karl Marx, Ideology Pages: 4 (1562 words) Published: November 25, 2010
“The ideas of the ruling class are in every epoch the ruling ideas, i.e. the class which is the ruling material force of society, is at the same time its ruling intellectual force.” (K. Marx and F. Engels. (1998) “Ruling Class and Ruling Ideas”. In J. Storey. (ed.). Cultural Theory and Popular Culture: A Reader Harlow, Essex: Pearson, 191.) Discuss the notions of ideology and/or false consciousness.

Ideology is something that has and will be always in everyone’s life. This is a part of human life. In my essay about ideology I am going to write about Karl Marx ideas about ideology and also Louise Althusser interpretations about ideology. In my opinion they are the two that explain ideology and false consciousness in the best and most understandable way. I am going to start with Karl Marx and write about his thoughts on ideology, false consciousness and how does it fit in to everyday life. Afterwards how Althusser complicated Marx’s ideas and explained how ideology works in people’s lives in his own way.

The Expression “Ideology” was created by Cabanis, Destutt de Tracy and their friends, and they defined it as an object the theory of ideas. Afterwards it was picked up by Karl Marx (1818-1883) and few years latter Louis Althusser (1918-1990) started expanding Marx ides on ideology. Main ideas on ideology by Karl Marx appeared in “The German Ideology”, that he wrote with Frederick Engels. Althusser wrote about Marx’s ides that (2001) “Ideology itself represents the "production of ideas, of conceptions, of consciousness," all that "men say, imagine, conceive," and include such things as "politics, laws, morality, religion, metaphysics, etc." Ideology functions as the superstructure of a civilization: the conventions and culture that make up the dominant ideas of a society.” Ideology is basically ideas of social groups. People think that something has some kind of purpose to serve them, but really it has a different purpose. For example police, everyone...
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