and Ideological State Apparatuses
the religious systems
the educational systems
the political systems
the family ISA…
Functioning predominately by repression secondarily by ideology
Functioning predominately by ideology secondarily by repression
: How do they function?
What unifies diversity and contradictions of ISAs?
→ The ruling ideology
class can hold State power over a long period without at the same time
exercising its hegemony over and in the Ideological State Apparatuses.
→Gramsci’s theory of hegemony (both in political way and cultural way)
→to rationalize the ruling ideology over people
→a willing acceptance of one social group’s dominance and control by another.
Different types in different eras.
Pre- capitalism: Church ( the function of religion, education, and
B. Capitalism: School- family apparatus
The most powerful institution to function ISAs is the educational
system, especially school.
Ideology has no history
A. No society could exist without ideology, and that ideology like Freud’s unconscious, has no history.
B. Although specific ideologies may come and go, the realm of ideology in general is eternal.
Ideology is a
‘Representation’ of the Imaginary Relationship of Individuals to
Their Real Conditions of Existence
A. Different types of interpretation:
i. Mechanistic type (King is God)
ii. Hermeneutic type (God is the essence of real Man)
iii. For instance, people accept different stories or fairy tales to know about themselves.
B. Why do men need this imaginary transposition?
i. Priest or despots are responsible; building another hierarchy in the world. (154)
ii. The material alienation reigns in the conditions of existence of men themselves. (154)
iii. An ideology is the conditions of existence of men, that is, imaginary, representation of the real world, a kind of connection of self and the world.
iv. Men represent to themselves in ideology. However, it causes the imaginary distortion of the ideological representation of the real world.
C. What will be represented in ideology?
i. The imaginary relation of those individuals to the real relations in which they live.
ii. Imaginary distortion
Ideology is the mechanism through
which the bourgeoisie is able to reproduce its class domination.
Through ideology, succeeding generations continue to adapt to the
Ideology has a material existence
Key terms: subject, consciousness, belief, and actions.
Ideology always exists in an apparatus and its practice. This existence
is material, that means, ideology must be practiced in a certain kind of
Ideology gives individuals the identity necessary to the functioning of
the existing state of affairs.
D. The individual behaves in such and such a way, participates in certain practices which are those of ideological apparatus on which he chooses what to believe.
i. It refers to the central operation by which ideology assigns to the individual human being an identity as a subject.
ii. Interpellation is a moment of recognition.
iii. We have always existed in ideology and cite the ritual of anticipation that surrounds the birth of a child.
i. According to Althusser, an individual always already exists in ideology and therefore is also an “always already subject.”
ii. The subject can exist only in ideology, and he is hailed or interpellated by ideology.
iii. Ideology reinforces a sense of self as a center of existence.
iv. The ambiguity of the term subject
a. The Absolute Subject (God)
b. The individual: the subject to the Subject.
1. What is the structure and function of ideology?
2. What is the link between ideology, reproduction and interpellation?
3. How does ideology function on individuals?