The word 'ideology' has many uses. Most often it is just used to refer to social and political beliefs. So we might say, "Joan's ideology is liberal (or conservative, or socialist, or feminist, etc.)
In social and political philosophy and social science the notion of ideology is more complex. People use the term to refer to a society's collective conscious and unconscious forms of thought.
Philosophers often use 'ideology' to refer to "mystification," ideas whose social origin is obscured and which lead people to accept unscientific beliefs.
Analysis of the concept of ideology
Thus, ideological beliefs are taken for granted and appear obvious to people.
Functions of ideology
Created by Kathryn Russell
SUNY Cortland - Philosophy
Last modified on 8-10-99