COMN 2500 Lecture Notes - Lecture 1: Juvenile Delinquency, Electronic Voting, False Consciousness

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23 Jul 2016
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Comn 2500 - Lecture 1:
Ideology – Nealon and Giroux
Ideology is the “study of ideas”
Born of a contradiction: “It’s the material study of immaterial things, ideas”
Material? Immaterial?
Ideology as “false consciousness”
A delusion of ideas rather than realities
An ideologist was a derogatory term
The basis of the Marxist understanding of ideology was this: “something that’s
false or misleading bc its mystifying”
Ex: cellphone makes u more “free”- -- this is false. This idea is however
mystifying u from the reality; since it takes time and money away from everyone
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“False consciousness quote----“
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Example - Youth crime:
Ideology: bad parenting, bad genes, bad teachers, etc.…
Research however suggest that : it’s a lack of opportunity that leads youth crime.
Its often an alternative to crappy jobs. Its economically motivated.
Ideology shifts the blame to victims and this obscures the real causes
“in its most basic sense, then, ideology critique is an attempt to show the rational
kernel – the concrete explanation – that’s hidden inside the ideological or
mystical shell”
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Ideology and Meaning
Ideology quote ----
“Recognizable framework of accepted ideas”
What “counts” as knowledge
Ideology here is descriptive
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The Stakes of ideology
“quote”
>> the knowledge produced by science changes the way we view things and
then changes our very understanding of the new thing. It’s a constantly evolving
process.
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Common Sense (?) (!)
“Ideology is that group of intertwining beliefs that makes possible certain kinds of
cultural consensus or knowledge, but precisely because its everywhere and
nowhere, ideology tends to disappear – so to speak – into the things that it
makes possible
Ideology is most often invisible to us. This is why it must be critiqued. It alleges
that things “just are”
>> The things we see as common sense should be questioned.
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Ideologyical Assumptions
Some baseline, unproblematic (supposedly), assumptions about our world:
Process is good
Democracy is the fairest of systems
Technology makes life better, especially those that encourage interactivity
and communication
An image tells you all you need to know
Private ownership and free enterprise are analogous to democracy
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Spreading democracy is good for everyone
Business is a liberating force
Getting a job is the primary goal of getting an education, and only the
person with the degree benefits from that education
… and so on…
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The way it is
“The voice of common sense” but…
“The ideologist is extremely easy to spot: he’s the one most vehemently denying
that he’s employing “ideology” the one who insists that has simply speaking the
voice of informed and impartial “reason” telling you the truth rather than some
misty soup….”
>> politicians
---
“freedom”
The axiomatic ideology of our times” freedom is appealed to on all levels, and
unproblematically assumed to be true
Mystification: its actually not true
Common sense: a baseline understanding of personhood/citizenship as such in
many parts of the world
>> so many ways were not “free” … we cant bring guns around and shoot
people, or say whatever we want to say
>> Were not free to do anything we want
>> we all are REQUIRED to work to earn money to live. TRY TO CHOOSE NOT
TO and see where you end up
>> But it seems like common sense to us what freedom is. Its however a
baseline idea in society. But its not true as it appears to be
---
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