Misconceptions of Ideology: A Resolution

  • Lorelle Juffs University of Manitoba


Most people believe their conííception of the world and their place within it, their ideology, is of their own making. In reality, ideology is a false consciousness which masks the covert operations of the dominant class. Taking a materialistic, Therborn/Marxist perspective this paper addresses two common misconceptions about ideology: i. ideology is completely external to the human experience, and conversely, ii. ideology is entirely conceived by an individual and is distinct for all individuals. In explaining the emergence of ideology, a Foucauldian lens is adopted to analyze the dynamics of discourse and how it governs our actions through satisfying the status quo. This goal is explored further through an examination of how the dominant class within western society continues to shape and disseminate ideology through covert sectors of society. Three major tools responsible for disseminating ideology, interpellation, the state apparatus, and second order myth, are described through case studies. Lastly, the prevalent nature of ideology is discussed in terms of its coevolution with society.

Author Biography

Lorelle Juffs, University of Manitoba
Anthropology Department, Honours Undergraduate