What Is Ideology?

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Understanding what ideologies are and what they bring to society and the world is extremely important. Not only do ideologies educate, but they also inspire people to improve social and political conditions. The reason it is so essential to study ideologies is because it gives people motivation and a sense of identity in the world.

Ideologies are sets of ideas that help people understand the cause of events in society and the world by shaping their opinions and the way they think "with regard to race, nationality, and the role and function of government, the relations between men and women, human responsibility for the natural environment, and many other matters" (Ball, Dagger, 2). I never had a clear understanding of what an ideology was until I began reading this book. The study of the past, opinions of the way things are, and where we all belong in the world are things that always cross people's minds. However, I did not know such ideas were known as ideologies.

Ideologies are ideas that promote people to act upon them. Ideologies consist of four major functions known as explanatory, evaluative, orientative, and programmatic. When chaotic events are happening in the world, such as war, people often find the need to ask why. Ideologies provide such explanations. This is the explanation function of an ideology. The second function is evaluation. While explaining why something may happen, it is also important to evaluate whether the matter is good or bad. This function may ask questions such as "Are all wars evils to be avoided, or are some morally justifiable?" (Ball, Dagger, 5). Ideologies provide standards that assist people in judging the integrity of certain policies and conditions. The orientation function of an ideology provides people with a sense of identity and relation with the rest of the world. This function helps people figure out how they fit. The last, but not least function of an ideology is the political program. This...
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