Mapping Ideology (Mappings Series)

Mapping Ideology (Mappings Series)

Language: English

Pages: 348

ISBN: 1844675548

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


For a long time, the term ‘ideology’ was in disrepute, having become associated with such unfashionable notions as fundamental truth and the eternal verities. The tide has turned, and recent years have seen a revival of interest in the questions that ideology poses to social and cultural theory, and to political practice.

Mapping Ideology is a comprehensive reader covering the most important contemporary writing on the subject. Including Slavoj Žižek’s study of the development of the concept from Marx to the present, assessments of the contributions of Lukács and the Frankfurt School by Terry Eagleton, Peter Dews and Seyla Benhabib, and essays by Adorno, Lacan and Althusser, Mapping Ideology is an invaluable guide to the most dynamic field in cultural theory.

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interest, with little or no sense of how all of these isolated interests combine into a total system. Lukacs, however, places emphasis, rather, on the phenomenon of reification - a concept he derives from Marx's doctrine of commodity fetishism, but to which he lends a greatly extended meaning. Splicing together Marx's economic analysis and Max Weber's theory of rationalization, he argues in History and Class Consciousness that in capitalist society the commodity-form permeates every aspect of

whole. It is not only that this version of ideological power is hard to square with the more structural and objective doctrine of commodity fetishism; it is also that it drastically simplifies the true unevenness and complexity of the ideological 'field'. For as Nicos Poulantzas has argued, ideology, like social class itself, is an inherently relational phenomenon; it expresses less the way a class lives its conditions of existence than the way it lives them in relation to the lived experience

material/non-material contrast central to The German Ideology. But it is difficult for feminists to appropriate this contrast, which got whatever concrete relevance it had from the explication of 'material change' by reference to Marx's eschatological history of changes in the organiz­ ation of mechanisms of production. That history is largely irrelevant to the oppression of women by men.5 If however, we drop the matter-consciousness distinction and fall back on the first of the two definitions

But at the same time it is very sad. I lack the positive confidence that psychoanalysts have; they expect consciousness to be a tale of sadness, and respond with sadness when the individual says 'Look what happened to me. Isn't it terrible?' To some extent social wor k is like that: when you do it, it punishes you. This is a situation that arises very often, and it does not contradict what I say about doxa. One may be very well adapted to this state of affairs, and the pain comes from the fact

and predominantly by ideology, what unifies their diversity is precisely this functioning, in so far as the ideology by which they function is always in fact unified, despite its diversity and its contradictions, beneath the ruling ideology, which is the ideology of 'the ruling class'. Given the fact that the 'ruling class' in principle holds State power (openly or more often by means of alliances between classes or class fractions), and therefore has at its disposal the (Repressive) State

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