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Unit 6. Ideologies, social-identities & reproduction of these in society

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  • 1. 1
  • 2. Todays program:
    Before we enter the realm of ideologies, lets go back to unit 5 and take a look at how discourse can construct realities (strategies)
    First part of slides ( 3 -9)
    Explore what ideologies are and how this relates to our identity and how this affects the way me may sense (meaning making process) of our world and the role discourse plays in all this
    2
  • 3. Social constructed? (unit 5)
    There is a relation between discourses and social activities
    Understanding is ultimately based on doing, our understandings derive from our doings. But discourses transform these practices in ways which safeguard the interests at stake in a given social context.
    DiscourseDoing: What? Why? Plus ideas and attributes
    Actual example: Status Aparte: LGO? UPG?influences the social act voting
    3
  • 4. Discourse Doing: What? Why? Plus ideas and attributes(unit 5)
    Ideas and attributes:
    Evaluations: a value
    Purposes
    Legitimating: reasons why particular things should be done in particular ways, by particular people, etc.
    (advertising, political discourse the art of persuasion )
    4
  • 5. The Anatomy of Discourse (1) (unit 5)
    Actions: the things people do, the activities that make up the social practice and their chronological order
    Manner: the way in which (some of or all of) the actions are performed. (e.g. slowly, energetically, graciously, based on anger)
    Actors: people (also animals) involved in the practice, and then different roles in which they are involved (for instance active and passive roles)
    Presentation: is the way in which actors are dressed and groomed. All social pratices have their rules of presentation, although they differ in kind and degree of strictness
    5
  • 6. 6
  • 7. The Anatomy of Discourse (2) (unit 5)
    Resources: the tools and materials needed to enact a social practice
    Times: Inevitably social practices are timed, they take place at certain times, and they last for certain amounts of time
    Spaces: the spaces where the social action takes place, including the way they should be arranged to make the practice possible
    In reality all these elements must be part of the way a social practice is actually enacted. But texts/discourses may include only some of them, and so do the discourses on which these texts draw their content. Knowledge is selectiveand what it selects depends on the interests and purposes of the sender(s) (institutions) that have foster the knowledge
    Being critical literate is being aware of this fact!
    7
  • 8. Social practices represented in Written texts/media (unit 5)
    Written texts and media include only some elements of the social practice, the actions and the medium through which they are realized.
    Not represented are the writer and the reader, and the circumstances of writing and reading time, place and grooming etc-
    8
  • 9. How is reality changed into discourse? (unit 5) (p.s this slide is very important)
    4 basic types of transformation of reality:
    Exclusion: discourses can exclude elements of social practice
    Rearrangement: Discourses can rearrange the elements of social practices, for instance when it detemporalizes elements which in reality have a specific order, or when it imposes a specific order on actions which in reality do not need to take place in any specific order
    Addition: discourses can add elements to the representation (purposes, evaluations, legitimations)
    Substitution: discourse substitutes concepts with other concepts
    Being critical literacy is being aware of the strategies that are applied in order to construct reality
    9
  • 10. Reflect on where we are now
    Language mediates experience (social reality)
    People use language to mediate experience (social reality) (communication is intentional, symbolic and contextual)
    Discourse (knowledge of some aspect of reality) as a means to construct social realities
    Social reality and discourse (anatomy of discourse)
    Strategies for construction of reality
    10
  • 11. Discourse, ideologies and the meaning making process:
    Discourse Doing: What? Why? (mediation of social practice) Plus ideas and attributes
    Plus ideas and attributes
    Plus ideas and attributes
    Plus ideas and attributes
    Ideologies influence the meaning making process
    Both on the coding (intention of mediation strategy for constructing social realities)
    And the decoding level(the ability to interpret the message)
    11
    the workings
    of ideologies
  • 12. Down the rabbit hole & Wonderland
    12
  • 13. Discourse: Language, constructed knowledges (Realities) and Social Practice
    13
  • 14. Ideologies and Discourse
    To explore the concept of ideology
    How ideology relates to cognition, society and discourse
    Explore the structure of ideologies
    Explore the relationship between ideologies and social groups
    We shall pay special attention to the discursive dimensions of ideologies. We want to know how ideologies may be expressed (or concealed!) in discourse;
    And how ideologies may be reproduced in society
    14
  • 15. Your meaning of Ideology
    How would do you define ideology?
    Which associations do you get, when you hear the concept ideology ?
    15
  • 16. 2 Videos
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=76frHHpoNFs&feature=related
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uI0itS3gQFU
    16
  • 17. Cognition, Society & Discourse
    Ideology & cognition :
    in terms of the social cognitions that are shared by the members of a group
    Ideology & society
    in terms of the social dimension explaining what kind of groups, relations between groups and institutions are involved in the development and reproduction of ideologies
    Ideology & discourse
    In terms of discourse explaining how ideologies influences our daily texts and talk and in terms of how we understand ideological discourse and how discourse is involved in the reproduction of ideology in society
    17
  • 18. What are Ideologies? (1)
    The concept of Ideology is a vague and one of the most contested conceptsin the social sciences.
    Intuitively we associate Ideology with systems of ideas, especially the social, political or religious ideas shared by a social group or movement.
    E.g. of wide spread ideologies: Communism, ant-communism, socialism and liberalism, racism, anti-racisim, pacifism, militarism
    Group members who share such ideologies stand for a number of very general ideas that are at the basis of their more specific believes about the world, guide their interpretation of events, and monitor their social practices
    18
  • 19. What are Ideologies? (2)
    Well use the term in psychology that describes thoughts of any kind: BELIEVES
    General working definition: Ideologies are the fundamental beliefs of a group and its members
    19
  • 20. Negative connotation of the concept:false consciousness or misguided believes (1)
    Marxism Approach(Marx & Engels): Ideologies as false consciousness or misguided believes:
    Ideologies are forms of false consciousness, meaning: popular but misguided beliefs inculcated by the ruling class in order to legitimate the status quo and to conceal the real socioeconomic conditions of workers
    As systems of self-serving ideas of dominant groups
    This is a negative concept of ideology that is prevalent in social sciences (implying a negative connotation to the concept), where it was traditionally being used in opposition to true scientific knowlegde
    20
  • 21. Negative connotation of the concept:false consciousness or misguided believes (2)
    This negative notion of ideology has also become central element in the commonsense and political uses of the term a system of false, misguided and misleading believes
    For instance, in the ideology of anti-communism that for decades dominated (still does) politics and even scholarship in much of the Western World (cold war). Ideology was then associated with communism
    Function of Ideologies in this negative approach of the concept: Legitimization of dominance
    Positive ideologies: systems that sustain and legitimatize opposition and resistance against domination and social inequality UTOPIAS (K.Mannheim). E.g. feminism, anti-rascism
    21
  • 22. 22
    Examples of anti-communism discourse
  • 23. 23
  • 24. Consequence of negative notion of the concept Ideology:
    This negative use of the concept Ideology presupposes the following polarization between US and THEM:
    Implying a social polarization between in-group (US) and out-group (THEM)
    So in the case of Communism and Anti-Communism, from the perspective of the anti-comm:
    WE (defenders of freedom) have true knowledges,
    THEY (the communists) have ideologies.
    24
    WE have true knowledge
    THEY have Ideologies
  • 25. 25
    A similar contemporary polarization is this one: science (true knowledge: progression) vs. religion (based on myths, conservative). This of course from the point of view of science
    What would be the point of view of religion? What does religion think of science?
  • 26. Approaching Ideology as a general notion:
    Ideologies dont need to be negative (existence of Utopias), they dont need to be about dominance. (Non-dominant can also be negative, e.g. religious sects or right wing extremists)
    A general theory of ideology allows a broader and more flexible application of the concept.
    Of course, this doesnt exclude taking a critical stance when studying ideologies (system of believes of group members), (as you will see. That is the purpose of this course)
    26
  • 27. Ideology as the basis of social practices
    As systems of believes of social groups (and movements) ideologies make sense in order to understand the world (from the point of view of the group).
    Ideologies help understand the social practices of group members
    E.g. sexist and racist ideologies are at the basis of discrimination (=social practice)
    E.g. pacifist ideologies may be used against nuclear weapons
    E.g. ecological ideologies will guide against pollution
    Often Ideologies emerge from group conflict and struggle: pitching US against THEM
    27
  • 28. 28
  • 29. One crucial social practice: Language use
    One of the crucial social practices influenced by ideologies are language use and discourse.
    Which in turn, influence how we acquire, learn or change ideologies:
    Much of our discourse, especially when we speak as members of groups, expresses ideologically based opinions
    We Learn ideological ideas: by reading and listening to other group members (beginning with parents and peers), watching TV, reading text books at school, advertising, the newspaper, novels, participating in everyday conversations with friends, family and colleagues (and so on)
    Some discourse genre have the specific purpose of teaching ideologies to group members of newcomers:
    E.g. catechism, party rallies, indoctrination and political propaganda
    29
  • 30. 30
  • 31. Lets compare some ideological icons
    http://www.kontraband.com/pics/19571/Political-Pictographs/
    Capitalism
    Altruism
    Ant-materialism
    31
  • 32. Types of memories and types of believes
    Ideologies often have an evaluative dimension.
    This can affect our knowledge, attitudes and believes
    Cognitive science: distinction between LTM and STM
    Ideological believes are located in the LONG TERM Memory (LTM)
    Social Memory: shared believes and knowledges (LTM)
    Common Ground knowledge (LTM)
    Episodic memory: everyday activities (STM) Short term memory. Is subjective, autobiographical, unique
    Ideologies are social shared by a group (Social Memory) and influence our daily activities (Episodic Memory)
    32
  • 33. The organization of Ideologies
    Not organized in the mind in arbitrary ways. The mind and its memory is organized in categories. Ideologies have a system (organization) of believes.
    This system has an schema-like nature: it consists of a number of conventional categories that allows social actors to rapidly understand, build, rejector modifyan ideology
    The categories that define the ideological schema derive from the basic properties of social groups
    If ideologies underlie the social beliefs of a group, then the identity and identification of group member must follow a more or less fixed pattern of basic categories, together with practical rules of application
    33
  • 34. Categories of the Ideological Schema:
    Membership criteria: Who does (not) belong?
    Typical activities: What do we do?
    Overall aims: What do we want?
    Norms and Values: What is good or bad for us?
    Position: What are the relationships with other?
    Resources: Who has access to our group resources?
    (this schematic structure is purely theoretical!)
    34
  • 35. 35
  • 36. Ideology as a form of Self (and Other) Representation:
    A Schema of six categories which categorizes not only collective and individual action, but also organizes the ideologies of our mind. These categories define what it means to be a member of a group and to jointly feel as one group A group self-schema
    Ideology= A self (and other) representation: Us and Them + collective believes and hence criteria for identification for group members
    Ideology=One of the basic forms of social cognition that at the same time define the identity of a group
    36
  • 37. From Ideology to Discourse and vice versa
    A specific property of forms of social cognition is that they are by definition generaland abstract. They need to be, because they should apply in a large variety of everyday situations.
    E.g. Racist ideologies embody how WE think about THEM in general, and individual group members (depending on the social context) apply these general opinions in concrete situations, and hence in concrete discourse
    There may be a wide gap between the abstract, general ideologies on the one hand, and how people produce and understand discourse or engage in other social practices on the other hand.
    Exception: discourses that are explicitly ideological, such as to those that teach or explain ideologies to new group members or defend ideologies against attacks from outsiders.
    37
  • 38. Intermediary (bridging) representations between ideologies and discourse
    In order to relate ideology to discourse, group attitudes and group knowledge (=other forms of social cognitions) function as intermediaries.
    But even these still are general and abstract; hence we need a more specific interface between social cognition and discourse!!!
    Lets take a look at a schema representing our discussion so far: (next sheet)
    38
  • 39. Interaction / Discourse
    This is way complex, and goes beyond this course, but put in a too simplistic schema:
    39
    Social memory
    Group Knowledge
    Group Attitudes
    Group Ideology (different groups)
    Socio-Cultural Knowledge (Common Ground)
  • 40. The role of mental models
    Distinction between social memory and personal (autobiographical) memory (episodic memory)
    Episodic memory are made of mental representations of the episodes that give rise to our daily lives (from the moment we wake up until the moment we fall as sleep= mental models
    We have mental models of daily events we participate in, witness (in reality or tv), or read about. Models of events, actions, situations, as well as their participants, of which the autobiographical models of events we participate in ourselves are a specific case mental models are personal and subjective
    40
  • 41. Mental Models
    The way we perceive, understand or interpret our daily reality (represent) takes place via construction and reconstruction (updating/modification) of our mental models.
    These representations are influenced by previous experiences (old models) and these may bias my current perceptions and interpretations.
    Mental models also embody opinions about events we read or hear about.
    The structure of mental models : schema of events (social practices) consisting of actions, participants (things, people), setting (time, place)
    An important property of Mental models is that they feature instantiations (specifications, examples) of more general and abstract believes (including social cognitions)
    Mental models are ideologically based, and this influences our perception of the world (the meaning making process)
    41
  • 42. Mental models & Ideological conflict
    Ideological conflict: at the level of personal experiences, people may be confronted with ideological conflict and confusion. This because we identify with several social groups at the same time, meaning a conflict of different ideological positions
    E.g. you may be a woman, at the same time a mother, a professional writer, a socialist, a feminist, a atheist and so on, and the representations of your personal life experiences may require opinions that are not always compatible with these various identities.
    Depending on the specific social situation (context) you then find yourself in will influence your choice in resolving the ideological conflicts
    42
  • 43. Discourses are like Icebergs
    43
    Mental model construction, updating in order to understand and interpret. Negotiation of mental models
    Discourses
    Shared social believes;
    Social memory
  • 44. How are ideologies distributed: discourse (constantly repeated)
    44
  • 45. Important question:
    How do speakers know what information to include in a discourse, and what information to leave implicit?
    Speakers have believes about the believes of recipients;
    a) socially shared beliefs that belong to the Common Ground
    b) knowing people personally and intimately implies that we know more of the specific (model) information they have.
    c) socially shared but specific information about events that are distributed (and presupposed) by the media, knowledge we call historical
    E.g. a newspaper article dont need to explain to its readers what World War 2 or the Holocaust are.
    So, as a speaker, you need to know social shared information and what does the speaker does not yet know in order to compose your expression
    45
  • 46. Ideologies in society
    Ideologies are essentially social.
    Cognitive view: social memory, social cognition shared social representations of a group
    Ideologies are social learned and distributed and collectively represented by a group.
    Ideologies are in this sense at the same time cognitive and social
    People bring there ideologies and these manifest themselves in social practices of everyday life (a crucial form is discourse): in text and talk, paraverbal activities that accompany talk (gestures, facial expressions etc).
    46
  • 47. 47
    The Caterpillar and Alice looked at each other for some time in silence: at last the Caterpillar took the hookah out of its mouth, and addressed her in a languid, sleepy voice.Who are YOU? said the caterpillar...This was not an encouraging opening for a conversation.Alice replied, rather shyly, `I--I hardly know, sir, just at present-- at least I know who I WAS when I got up this morning, but I think I must have been changed several times since then.'
  • 48. Social basis of Ideologies
    Social practices that define peoples life: in the family, at work, during study, at leisure. E.g. discrimination at work, materialistic values in the family, sexism between spouses, philanthropic donations, being hostile to other people from a political party during campaign times.
    There is a close relationship between ideology, social identity, group self-schemata, social practices.
    And the social construction of the group suggests that groupness may be inherently linked to having an ideology
    48
  • 49. 49
    Social groups
  • 50. Assignment: What is the ideological message behind this discourse utterances?
    50
  • 51. 51
  • 52. Why this reaction?
    52
  • 53. Ideology and Power
    Why do people develop ideologies?
    Cognitively: ideologies may be developed because they organize social representations
    Social basis: people are better able to form groups based on identification along various dimensions, including sharing an ideology
    Since ideologies control social practices in general and discourse in particular, a social function would be: ideologies enable or facilitate joint action, interaction and cooperation of in-group, as well as interactions with out-group members (social micro level functions of ideology)
    At macro level, ideologies are described in terms of group relations, in terms of power, dominance (control) but also cooperation
    53
  • 54. The Critical perspective explores the Power issue
    54
  • 55. Social power and Ideologies
    The power of group A over another group B. Usually this means control of action: A is able to control (limit, prohibit, stimulate ) the actions of B.
    Since discourse is also a form of action, such control may be also exercised over discourse and its properties: context, topic and style.
    Since discourse may influence the mind of recipients, groups may indirectly (e.g. through mass media) also control the mind of people persuasion and manipulation
    Powerful discourse may influence the way we define an event or situation in our mental models or how we represent society in our knowledge, attitudes and ideologies.
    Control of discourse (sender)taking a critical stand
    To have power, you have to legitimize it.
    55
  • 56. An other contemporary example: The west vs. Islam and Islam vs. the west
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BgQdZgojOFI
    http://myfaithmyvoice.com/
    This illustrates the meaning of the concept of hegemony
    Hegemony (Gramsci): ideology as a struggle
    The constant winning and re-winning of the consent of the majority (Fiske, 1990)
    It has an element of binary oppositions
    56
  • 57. In defense of the west hegemony
    57
  • 58. 58
  • 59. In defense of Islam
    59
  • 60. Paradox and philosophical question
    This is a complex issue, so complex it is impossible to portray in terms of binary opposition (Islam vs. the West, The West vs. the Islam is a construction, a simplistic view of reality)
    But be careful, the above statement (in green), uncovers my believes, and thus my ideology
    Philosophical question to ponder:
    Is there no escape to ideology, is it the only means we have of making sense of our social experiences, of the world, of social groups?
    60
  • 61. Other hegemony examples:
    Science vs. religion
    Capitalism vs. socialism
    Democracy vs. dictatorial states
    Pro-life vs. freedom of individuals
    61
  • 62. General strategy for ideological analysis of discourse
    A method to find ideology in text and talk.
    Well link this method with the self-schema of groups
    Membership: who are we? Who belong to us? Who can be admitted?
    Activities: What are we doing? Planning? What is expected of us?
    Aims: why are we doing this? What do we want to achieve?
    Norms: What is good or bad? Allowed or not allowed in what we do?
    Relations: Who are our friends? Or enemies? Where do we stand in society?
    Resources: What do we have that others dont? What dont we have that others do have?
    62
  • 63. Strategy: US and ThemPolarization
    Positive self-presentation / Negative other-Representation:
    Say positive things about US
    Say negative things about THEM
    Do not say negative things about US
    Do not say positive things about THEM
    This is a very general characteristic of group conflict and the ways we interact we opposed groups, but also this strategy also characterizes the way we talk about ourselves and others
    As formulated above, the strategy is to absolute, direct and general
    Lets look at a more subtle strategy to express ideologies in text and talk
    63
  • 64. Ideological Square (van Dijk, 2004)
    Emphasize positive things about US
    Emphasize negative things about THEM
    De-emphasize negative things about US
    De-emphasize positive things about THEM
    These 4 possibilities form a conceptual square ideological square.
    It may be applied to all levels of discourse analysis: content, semantic and lexical level (meaning of words and sentences), to opposing pairs ((de)-emphasize): length, brief, explicitly, implicitly, metaphors, big or small headlines,
    64
  • 65. 65
    Ideology is reproduced in society by means of discourse!

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