These three were not grouped together because of similarities on their views
of ideology On the contrary, they took different positions on it, with the only
common aspect being the way their definitions revolved around or out of the
Marxian orbit. Althusser was somewhat Marxist,
although his approach was not linked to any notion of truth or falsity. He believed
that because ideology is a "system of representation," it becomes
the totality of human existence, something he claimed was "the very element
and atmosphere indispensable to their historical respiration and life."
(Quoted by Boudon: 181). On the other hand, Edward Shils, according to Boudon,
takes a non-Marxist perspective by insisting that ideotogy is a "positive
and normative belief system," one that can be distinctly demarcated from
others by meeting eight criteria (Boudon lists, among others, the way the ideology
is created, how it pulls in followers into accepting the belief, the method
by which this takes place, etc. ). Finally, Parsons departs from the preceding
two by conceptualizing ideology as "deviating from scientific objectivity."
In this case, Parsons links ideology into the dichotomy of what is true, and
what isn't (Boudon: 21).
Last Modified: 22 April, 2002