Marxist Theory Of Ideology

1025 Words 5 Pages
Discourse, ideology, and hegemony are intertwined. The notion of ideology emerged in the work of Karl Marx. The Marxist notion of ideology focuses on how society is dominated by the interests of the ruling economic class, as a field of social power, where the subordinate classes lacking economic power consent to the hierarchies of social power. Thus, the working class, for instance, is exploited by the dominant/privileged class and takes their exploitation for granted within economic structures of inequality. According to Marx, resistance of ideology should be in a material form. However, feminist theory emphasizes questions about gender, while "race" theory questions the class subject of the theory of ideology and rather focuses on racialized …show more content…
Thus, networks of power are also sites of resistance. Stoddart (2007) argues that the Frankfurt school including Walter Benjamin, Theodor Adorno, Max Horkheimer and Herbert Marcuse, elaborated on Marx's notion of ideology and gave it more dimensions. Although culture products and various media forms were available in the 20th century to masses, they represented the capitalist ideologies of the ruling class, making the working class believe that the capital social relations and social inequality are inevitable and unchangeable. Thus, according to Stoddart (2007), the Frankfurt school theorists emphasize the cultural realm and scientific rationality as important sites of domination, where the dominant classes use ideology to exercise power. This is corrective to Marx's focus on the economic production as the primary source of …show more content…
While power does not derive from language, language is used not only to express power, but to challenge power and change its distribution in the short and long terms. Van Dijk sees the notion of power as meant with the language use of those in power, who are mainly responsible for the inequalities in societies. He investigates how discourse reproduces social domination and power abuses, and how this domination and abuses are resisted by the oppressed groups. The dominant group are able to control the minds of other groups. Thus, the powerful groups constitute a "power base" who have access to scarce social resources, e.g. money, fame, force, knowledge, information, status ... etc. Various resources produce different "types of power", reflected in laws, norms, habits ... etc. Dominant powers either resist, or find this normal. Gramsci uses the notion of "hegemony" to express how the state and civil society maintain consent to the class hierarchies of capitalist society (Hall 1992; Hall 1996b). While Fairclough (1995b) argues that hegemony integrates economy, politics, and ideology, within an overall focus on politics and power, as well as the dialectical relations between classes and class

Related Documents