Digest of terms


used non-evaluatively, ideology is an integrated pattern of thinking about the world, including views about how society should be organized or people should live. In its evaluative sense, rooted in Marxist ethics, ideology is a belief system that appears fair on the surface but in fact masks, and through its apparent fairness helps legitimise, various forms of injustice. For example, in capitalism workers enter 'freely' into a contract with an employer, but in fact are forced to do so: it is their only realistic option in a system where they have no stake in ownership of the means of production. Similarly, feminists condemn even moderate patriarchy as an ideology in the negative sense because of its allocation of gender roles on the ostensible basis of 'different but equal' when in fact it perpetuates wide ranging discrimination.

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