15.2 Ideology

John Wright

We are going to take ideology itself as a given in this exploration. We have already explored in various chapters in this text the problems with identifying what an ideology is and examples of specific ideologies themselves. There always remains an element of “I can’t define it exactly, but I know it when I see it” to all discussions on ideology. However, in general we can say that ideology is an admixture of political and socio-economic beliefs, values and symbolism that provides explanatory coherence: a focal lens through which people filter political narratives. Furthermore, we have seen that ideology is operationalized. This is to say, ideology is used to accrue and wield power in politics along a continuum from rhetoric and persuasion through to physical force and violence.


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