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Lecture 2

SOSC 1000 Lecture Notes - Lecture 2: Social Reality

Social Science
Course Code
SOSC 1000
Terry Conlin

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“Social reality doesn’t appear to us directly. It is revealed to our understanding
through a screen of assumptions, beliefs, explanations, values, and unexamined
knowledge. Together, these elements on the screen comprise an ideology”
(Merchak 61)
This ideology hides some things from us, all while projecting our attention on only
a few realities (61)
“An ideology grows with us from childhood. Some parts of it are deliberately
transmitted by parents, schools, the media, and the other institutions of our
“It provides some dominant themes, some rules of thumb, some central beliefs
that guide our actions and our perceptions in our habitual rounds of activity” (61)
controls what we do and how we think
“There is an explanation for the structure of power, for why the public world is
ordered in such a fashion. . .some elements are about a more private world,
about what it is appropriate to hope for how one ought to behave, what it is
sensible to believe (61)
A good example of a dominant ideology is when a child is told that some
occupations provide higher material rewards than others and that an occupation
is important. This is reinforcing the idea that a child must do well in school so
they can go to the top (62)
“Provides the ready references, the rules of thumb, the directives to the eyes and
ears of its members. It is the glue that holds institutions together, the medium
that allows members of the population to interact, predict events, understand
their roles, perform adequately, and perhaps above all, strive to achieve the
kinds of goals most appropriate to the maintenance of any particular social
organization (62)
For example, the two major ideologies of our time: liberalism and socialism (62)
“Widespread acceptance of an ideology creates an incapacity for judgement of
its truth. There is comfort in believing what so many others appear to believe. .
.There is fear in doing otherwise” (63).
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