1 Introduction to Ideologies

Topics: Political philosophy, Liberalism, Left-wing politics Pages: 13 (2522 words) Published: April 21, 2015



Prepared by the Social Studies Department
Bishop Carroll High School


(2 units)
I. Information

Key Issue: To what extent should we embrace an ideology?
Related Issue 1: To what extent should ideology be the foundation of Identity? General Outcome: Students will explore the relationship between identity and

Read the main objectives of the learning guide and the information given in the learning activities. If you do not understand a question or assignment contact a teacher for clarification. Do the assignments in as much detail as you find necessary to learn the material. Keep your notes for study purposes.

1. To appreciate various perspectives regarding identity and ideology and the relationship between individualism and the common good. 2. To explore factors that many influence individual and collective beliefs and values (culture, language, media, relationship to land, environment, gender, religion, spirituality, ideology). 3. To examine expressions of individualism and collectivism and the dynamic between individualism and the common good in contemporary societies. 4. To examine characteristics of ideology (interpretations of history, beliefs about human nature, beliefs about the structure of society, visions for the future); the themes of ideologies (nation, class, relationship to land, environment, religion, progressivism); and the relationship between worldviews and ideology. 5. To analyze individualism and the common good as foundations of ideology.

II. Learning Activities
Students will complete 7 Learning activities using this learning guide, the textbook Perspectives on Ideology; and a number of Internet websites. The course textbook Perspectives on Ideology is available in the Library.

Upon completion of this learning guide students will write a test in the Testing Centre consisting of 25 multiple-choice items. Activity I: 
Consider the following with reference to pages 7 - 18, 23 - 24 and 49 - 50 of Perspectives on Ideology 1. Briefly identify different beliefs about human nature, nature of society, interpretations of history and visions of the future

2. Explain what is meant by individualism and collectivism.

3. Explain the role of values in influencing personal identity and collective goals.

4. Identify the factors that influence beliefs and values.

5. Compare and contrast the views of Locke, Hobbes and Rousseau on human nature.

6. Consider “the source” on page 13. To what extent are the distinctly European ideas of Locke and Hobbes based on similar values?

7. Describe the meaning and role of ideology in human affairs.

The popular 17th C scientific approach to understanding natural phenomenon – isolating, reducing, dissecting, and separating – was adapted for use a social instrument, a “political spectrum” – in the hopes of revealing the constituent parts of political belief.

A political spectrum is a way of comparing or visualizing political beliefs by placing them on an axis. The spectrum places conservatism on the right, liberalism centre-left and socialism left of that. Communism and Fascism occupy positions on the extreme left and right respectively. While the spectrum is an inaccurate measure of belief, the following characteristics are generally accepted: An emphasis on equality is considered left-wing; and emphasis on liberty is right-wing Government economic interventionism is leftist; limited government is right-wing. Readiness to change is left-wing; support for tradition and the status quo is right-wing.

The Political Spectrum

Political ideas are often classified according to their position on a political spectrum. The political spectrum first came into use shortly after...
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