Read the chapter Ideology and the Ideological State Apparatuses of the course reader. Althusser’s take on Marxist literature has a strong bearing on contemporary attitudes to the way the viewer, reader or spectator becomes the subject. How does Althusser’s structuralism show here? What does Althusser mean by ideology? Is there in your view, any area of visual culture where it may seem to act in an overt way?

“We have created a Star Wars Civilisation, with Stone Age emotions, medieval institutions, and godlike technology. We thrash about. We are terribly confused by the mere fact of our existence, and a danger to ourselves and to the rest of life.”[1]

Edward O Wilson, The Social Conquest of Earth

Before I understood anything about structuralism I felt I had to understand how language related to the theory in order to make any sense of it. From what I have read language is thought to be a process through which we human’s mediate our perceived realities. This works through a process of signs, which are the sum of signifiers and signified. Signifiers are words themselves and the signified is the subjective sense of what those words might mean to a group or individual.

The meaning of any sign is subject to context. In other words we understand words when they are spoken or read in context – because there are often variations in meaning, the most obvious example being homonyms, i.e. words that sound the same but have different meanings such as which and witch for instance. But even words that don’t’ have alternative meanings may mean different things to different people. So a person who doesn’t like birthdays is likely to have a contrasting response to the words ‘happy birthday’ compared to someone who loves birthdays and thinks they’re great. In fact there are a range of possible responses to the words ‘happy birthday’ depending on the context within which it is spoken or written.

In structuralism, because we mediate reality through communication of various types, in other words, because we understand and interact with the world via this layer of expressed consciousness, it holds tremendous potential for power. And anyone or thing who has the ability to consciously or unconsciously harness that power possesses a great deal of influence over how we perceive ourselves and our realities.

Althusser, as Marx and Hegel, along with Gramsci, Claude Levi Strauss and Barthes, amongst others, did before him, and Derrida too see language as being utilised to construct realties and the mechanisms within societies that make them work, and the range of structuralism theories are an attempt to classify and break down those systems in order to identity, examine and presumably resist ideologies which we otherwise might simply accept as uncontrollable and out of our hands.

As I try to get my head round the spectrum of structuralism theories I can’t help thinking that somehow (and perhaps it is due to a failing in my understanding) there is a separating out of basic human biology and evolutionary history at the core of these theories. And that somehow the idea of structures is pejorative. When in fact structure is actually imperative to our being as human animals.

By that I mean that social structures are rendered in the theories as something added on top of humanity, and something that we might even want to live without. This goes against my understanding that societal structures of any description, pre-or post capitalist, are borne out of our genetic development as super smart primates, that have evolved over millions of years as part and parcel of the human story. In other words, social structures are expressed as the inevitable outcome of adaptive genetic processes.

As Edward O Wilson, a sociobiologist says in his book, The Social Conquest of Earth, “In summary, the human condition is an endemic turmoil rooted in the evolutionary processes that created us. The worst in our nature coexists with the best, and so it will ever be. To scrub it out, if such were possible, would make us less human.” [2]

This summary is based on a new theory of eusocial evolution, which supplants the theory that kin selection was the dominant force in our development. Instead, our development has been informed by natural selection that favours something Wilson refers to as groupishness – the altruistic imperative to act in the interest of one’s group. And inherent in that imperative is a conflict of interest as we are also genetically inclined to act in our own interests. Natural selection however favoured groups who worked together well, had empathy for each other and were cohesive. There is a genetic conflict within us all between the need to serve the self and the group.

In a summarising list of expected consequences of this process Wilson states, “Much of culture, including especially the content of the creative arts, has arisen from the inevitable clash of individual selection and group selection.”[3]

I can’t help feeing that this sentence is really critical in trying to understand how structures, structuralism, interpellation, the whole idea of media and cultural expression operate. And whilst I probably agree with Ron Strickland who at the end of his YouTube video about state apparatus says, although bleak, Althusser’s theories are useful when looking at media and culture and attempting to quantify how it shapes who we are, I do however think that structuralism fails to take into account much, much deeper processes explored by Wilson.

I am not sure I fully understand or explain it here but I have given it a go.

Althusser and his contemporaries, along with Marx before him, are saying that ideologies, under the forces of state apparatuses, turn individuals into subjects who conform to the status quo often without realising it, believing themselves to be free but in fact, even if they resist, they’re only doing so in relation to the interpellation they recognise. It’s not possible to be outside the interpellated circle.

In a YouTube video by Sujatha Fernandes titled Gramsci and Althusser on State Power we are told that these figures were essentially trying to work out why individuals – the workers – did not rise up against the capitalist state when their situations were often dire especially in comparison to rich capitalists. And that interpellation, induced and maintained by various forms such as schools, armies, media and the justice system for example, i.e. the state apparatuses, is what keeps people in their place. However, it seems to me that these are the methods rather than the reasons. The reasons lie in Wilson’s words that we are genetically predisposed to serve the group as well as the self, and that the inevitable conflict which arises out of those two positions is what makes us human, i.e. highly intelligent functioning mammals who write, make art, build fires and rockets, refuse to rise up against self-serving dictators, vote for peculiar boy/men who write letters revealing they have no idea what their own policies lead to etc., etc.

  • How does Althusser’s structuralism show here?

It has taken me a while to get my head around what structuralism and post structuralism are essentially about, as well as the difference between the two positions, and how Athusser’s state apparatuses fit into all of it.

I like the idea of a spectrum on which structuralism and poststructulaism exist at opposite ends. I found a table created by Clayton J Whisnant [4] and he suggests the well-known names in these fields are dotted along such a spectrum.   The first difference he mentions is the existence of reality: structuralists don’t doubt it whereas poststructuralists are more inclined to, “or at the very least they emphasize (sic) the extent to which the widely understood difference between ‘ideas’ and ‘reality’ is one constructed through ‘discourse’. In other words, if there is a reality it may have not (sic – I think he means no) bearing on our sense of truth at all.”[5] In Thesis I and Thesis II as outlined by Althusser in his essay, ideologies are either imaginary or material. Either way, they are constructed ideas and thoughts, communicated by language – speech and words, and which constitute and manifest themselves as our realities. Or rather as the building blocks around which our realities take shape and, of course, have any meaning. I would say that that Althusser sees these processes as being very real indeed, so they do exist but only because conscious people exist in the first place – without them the processes, ideologies and state apparatuses don’t exist. “There is no ideology except by the subject and for the subjects. Meaning: there is no ideology except for concrete subjects”[6]. Subjects in Althusser’s terminology are individuals, made subjects by the very structures within which we exist. He goes on to say, “…an individual is always-already a subject, even before he is born…”[7]

Althusser states in his essay that prior to birth a subject is being inculcated, or to use his word, interpellated by various and multiple structures, and in particular at the point of conception within the familial one (which is, according to him, [8]pathological, although he suggests that it is unlikely any meaning can actually be ‘assigned to that word at all’[9]); and that this process creates subjects out of individuals. As subjects any sense of agency or ownership over how we live our lives is an illusion. Instead we are products of the ideologies within which we exist. In other words, every thing we think, say and do, how we represent ourselves to the world and see ourselves within it is informed by ideology of one form or another.

Althusser goes on to say that the process works as a “duplicate mirror-structure”[10]. This, he suggests, is because ideology is reliant on an Absolute Subject around which an ideology is centred. The Absolute Subject projects itself onto the many subjects that look to it, but could not have been realised in the first place without them projecting themselves in to it, therefore feeding it and keeping it ‘alive’ – but which conversely continues to maintain their position as subjects by being in existence at all; and that subjects are able to recognise themselves, confirming their position as subjects which they see in the image. He uses the Christian religion here as an example: “God defines himself as the Subject par excellence, he who is through himself and for himself (I am that I am), and he who interpellates his subject, the individual interpellated to him by his very interpellation,”[11].

He says the “the duplicate mirror structure of ideology ensures simultaneously:

  1. The interpellation of ‘individuals’ as subjects;
  2. The subjection to the Subject;
  3. The mutual recognition of the subjects and Subject, the subjects’ recognition of each other, and finally the subject’s recognition of himself;
  4. The absolute guarantee that everything really is so, and that on condition that the subjects recognise what they are and so behave accordingly, everything will be alright: Amen – ‘So be it’.

Although he uses religion here, he is not saying the only way the process of interpellation occurs is through religious institutions, although it is the main non-coercive institution in feudal societies. In fact the state might reject religion altogether in which case the Absolute Subject could be the leader of a party, as we see in North Korea for instance. Or in China, where the Party itself becomes the Absolute Subject. How fortuitous for me that just as I’m looking at how ideology can shape a society, the one-child policy in China is in the news and I will discuss this in greater detail in the next section.

  • What does Althusser mean by ideology?

All society must be steeped in the ideology of the ruling class in order for the state to function. Subjects who do not adhere to the ideology of the ruling class are seen, Althusser says, as ‘wicked’, indicating how powerfully convincing ideology can be.[12]

According to Althusser ideologies are propagated by the ruling classes to keep workers in place. They do this to ensure societies continue to operate efficiently and productively. The state achieves this by one of two ways, although usually using a combination: Consensual, which in a capitalist society means convincing people to behave a certain way through schools, religion or media; or Coercive, so convincing people to behave in a certain way by use of an army, the police or through the justice system.[13] Althusser refers to these systems as State Apparatus. His Italian counterpart Gramsci refers to the process as Hegemony.

Ideologies are material, says Althusser. In other words the thoughts that inform ideologies manifest themselves as institutions such as the courts for instance or schools – anywhere where subjects are made to engage in the processes set out by the ruling ideology. “If he believes in God, he goes to church to attend Mass, kneels, prays, confesses, does penance (once it was material in the ordinary sense of the term) and naturally repents, and so on. If he believes in duty, he will have the corresponding attitudes….” Althusser then goes on to give examples of material and practical manifestations of ideology, belief systems and how they are played out. Thereafter, he continues, [14] “In every case, the ideology of ideology thus recognises, despite its imaginary distortion, that the ‘ideas’ of a human subject exists in his actions, or ought to exist in his actions, and if that is not the case, it lends him other ideas corresponding to the actions (however perverse) that he does perform.”[15] So whatever we do, we are tied to the ruing ideology. If we choose to act against it by breaking the law, we are still acting in relation to the ideology, imprisoned by our relationship with the ruling classes ideas about what is right and what is wrong. (I found no mention of pre-learned universal moral stances such as an aversion to incest for instance.)

In whichever way ideology is transmitted, it is certainly true that it can have a significant affect on culture, the way we perceive and exist. China is a culture where it is possible to see clear and profound changes over a relatively short period of time due to state enforced ideology. The one-child policy was introduced in 1980 and brutally enforced (coercive state apparatus). Mandatory sterilisation, late abortions and murdered new-borns are only the immediate consequences of the policy. According to Mei Fong who has published a book on the subject, writing in The Guardian, she says, “In truth, it had a stronger and more insidious impact, shaping how one-sixth of the world live, love and die. People in China debating questions such as who to marry, what jobs to choose, how to buy a place to live or how to have a comfortable old age have had the answers to these questions shaped by the policy.”[16] In a society that was not so long ago mainly agrarian, large families were the norm echoing agrarian systems all over the world, where children are considered valuable for running the family business as well as taking care of aging relatives. The policy in China has led to a complete social change. The children born after this policy was introduced are referred to as the Little Emperor Generation as so much attention is given to these only-children who grow up in a highly competitive society in order to make them viable adults capable of competing.

Another long-term consequence is the gender imbalance. As baby girls were deemed less valuable than boys infanticide of girls was high. Now, with too many bachelors, marriage between all the Little Emperors and not very many Empresses has become big business. “Some economists estimate that this sex-ratio imbalance accounted for a 30-48% increase in house prices in China between 2003 and 2009”[17]. There are villages with no marriageable-aged women at all in them and this has led to a massive increase in the cost of dowries, out of reach of many families. Singles clubs are offered as part of the payment package from large businesses such as IBM and Microsoft in order to lure potential employees.

But who wants to hire them in the first place? According to Fong, there are studies to suggest single children in China are more bitter, pessimistic and less trusting than others. As they have such a negative reputation, it’s become hard to get a job unless one is lucky enough to have a sibling.[18]

Another article lists a socially devastating slowdown in population growth, a shrinking working population, an unworkable age dependency ratio, and again the gender imbalance.[19]

All in all the policy has had a profound effect on the way in which people exist, think and behave. And so seems to be a perfect example of what Althusser is saying. I would suggest that the group (led by the ruling class) has drastically miscalculated the cost benefit ratio they expected to see over time and it would interest me to look into that from an anthropological point of view. Perhaps this is where one can see Wilson’s words, quoted at the top of this post about humanity being a danger to its self, highlighted in bright red Party letters.

Marxist theory and later Althusser are looking at Capitalist societies and how they operate. Althusser, and before him Gramsci, suggest that the consensual state apparatus in feudal societies was simply the church but as civil society emerged the state apparatuses diverged and became more complex and multifaceted[20]. Today we have several strands of consensual ideological controls informing us of who we are and ought to be in the form of schools, church (although less and less in secular societies) and the media, which in itself contains several separate and distinct elements. Gramsci termed the word hegemony to describe how ideological concepts seep into a society’s acceptance about what is right and wrong, giving rise to apparently spontaneous consent amongst the masses.

Before I discuss that though I want to briefly look at a form of societal consent that is hard to comprehend, and which is current and difficult to ignore whilst thinking and writing about how states control our versions of reality.

In an article in The Independent about ISIS a former barber is interviewed. At the end of the article he says, ““Under the rule of ISIS,” says Salem, who has no reason to like the group which beat him savagely and closed his business, “many big generators have been bought to Ramadi from Fallujah and Raqqa. In addition, they are repairing the power Station at Khesab. As for the hospital, ISIS brought in doctors, surgeons and nurses from Syria, so it is working again””. This is in stark contrast to the conditions before ISIS took over when there was no electricity, fuel, Internet or clean water for drinking.[21]

In another article from The Nation by Lydia Wilson, she discusses interviews with prisoners on death row in Iraq who are accused of being involved in some way with suicide bombs that routinely kill many scores of people around the world. She is part of an investigative body looking into why people are compelled to blow themselves up in the name of Jihad.[22]  I think this is important on several levels, which I’ll discuss in a moment. Towards the end of the article Lydia Wilson writes, “They are not fuelled by the idea of an Islamic State caliphate without borders; rather, ISIS is the first group since the crushed Al Queada to offer these humiliated and enraged young men a way to defend their dignity, family and tribe. This is not radicalisation to the ISIS way of life but a promise of a way out of their insecure and undignified lives; the promise of living in pride as Iraqi Sunni Arabs, which is not just a religious identity but cultural, tribal and land based too.”[23]

I think this is one aspect in an extremely complex situation, but for me it is important because it provokes questions raised by Edward O Wilson pertaining to the genetically predisposed tension in our selective history, between group and self-selection that exists in all of us.

In the case of the young men being interviewed by Lydia Wilson, a complex calculation of cost-benefit ratios that are difficult for us to fully understand have been made by individuals and that particular society as a whole, informed by historical events as well as a variety of state sponsored apparatuses, both repressive and also ideological. The barber has been beaten but sees his community benefit from electricity, fuel and doctors. The young men will die but are given an opportunity to provide for their families and contribute to their communities when there was absolutely no hope of doing so before.

  • Is there, in your view, an area of visual culture where this idea may seem to act in an overt way? Find examples and make notes on them.

We live in a relatively free society, especially when you compare our lives to those of the people I’ve described above. Even so the ideology of the dominant ruling class, in our case the upper middle class, pervades as described by Althusser, in a way that makes it look like a material reality, but is actually just a bunch of middle class mores and ideas that may or may not bare any relation to actual reality. All that we think and do as well as how we view the world is informed by that, and the media is one of its most effective conductors. (I can’t fail to mention that the Internet, which surely allows for a more democratically based discourse, is having some sort of an effect on how we relate to our dominant ruling class. I know there are a whole variety of factors worth considering that make it more or less so; but many more voices are heard at the moment, for example, surrounding the contentious use of the word migrant favoured by politicians, the BBC and other media outlets in favour of the word refugee. I won’t dwell on this here as there is so much to be said in relation to this, but it is an important aspect of the technology revolution.)

The media is undoubtedly one of the most influential apparatuses we have.  And programmes for or about children are extremely influential, probably because anything pertaining to children taps into a well of deep emotions.  A genre within the media that was used as an example by Sujatha Fernandes in one of her Foundations of Social Theory presentations is reality television. She highlights the reasons it came about and pin points the writer’s strike in the 80s and then the threat of another earlier this century as a catalyst for reality TV. And goes on to argue that the hegemony of the dominant ruling class is filtered through these programmes. I’d like to drill down further and suggest that reality TV about children in particular behaving badly, with nannies or psychologists being flown in to fix it all, are perhaps one of the most pernicious examples of spreading middle class values based on nothing more than a section of society’s lifestyle rather than genuine reality. We watch the ‘fix’ taking place but we never see the reality afterwards, where the behavioural problems continue once the cameras leave and the children who were shamed on national TV have become victims of bullying at school, for instance.

What fuels this kind of programming isn’t only the desire to make money, or create programmes that encourage audiences to feel superior.  Or even to help ‘fix’ naughty children.

One of the best selling books amongst the plethora of baby advice books out there is written by someone who has never had children herself but was a nanny originally hired by a middle class family, themselves working in the media. I know this because I knew people who were friends of theirs. I’m not going to mention the book or the name of the author as she has form for suing anyone who says anything against her online. Her system however is based on the fact that she is a) not related to the baby b) paid to look after the baby c) paid to make the life of the family easier than it otherwise might be considering there is a young baby in the house because the family are busy working hard.

Before I go any further, I should add I have no problem with people paying others to look after their children for them. There is a saying, “It takes a village to raise a child” and in our society paying for what are effectively allo-parents (an ethnographic description of the people who surround mothers and help them raise their children, usually extended family) makes sense if you have the means. We, and the delightful capuchin monkeys, are the only primates who rely on shared infant care and it’s been going on for a very, very long time.[24]

However, the highly controlled systematic, minute by minute schedule prescribed by the book I mention has very little to do with allo-parenting and much more to do with scheduling. Advising new mothers not to make eye contact with their babies in the night, prescribing a moment-by-moment timetable by which to live right down to the minutes that should be given to actual playful interaction, and making mothers feel that they are morally irresponsible for veering from the path set out by the author at best adds to the almighty confusion that comes with becoming a parent for the first time. At the other end of the scale it undoubtedly has the potential to have a profound affect on the emotional and physical wellbeing of both mother and child. However, this book is just one tiny example of a perceived reality, an interpellation that has little to do with the actual evolutionary and biological needs in our species.

There are so many aspects to modern parenting that stem from middle class values, many of which grew out of Victorian values, and which have hung around. I will drill down further and look at just one aspect of parenting.

Parents are made to feel that sleeping with their children is morally wrong and potentially lethal despite the fact that for the vast majority of our 60 000 years as human beings on this planet infants have slept with their mothers. Prior to the introduction of chimneys in architecture most people slept, ate and lived in one room.[25] During the Middle Ages, the enthusiastic Dr Lucy Worsley who presented The History of the Home, told us all about how kings and queens may have had their own bedrooms but the hoi palloi found a spot on the floor of the great hall to bed down if they were lucky. I volunteered for a charity that aims to help isolated and struggling parents, and the women I was assigned to help shared a bed with her baby, as I have done with all of mine, because where she grew up everybody slept in the same room and on the same bed. So it not morally wrong in her reality. It was just how you existed. It was made clear to me I should encourage her to refrain from the practise and somehow bound up with her huge debt problems, ill health and inability to find a job or ensure her child went out regularly. Bed sharing was really the least of that woman’s problems, but to the society we live in it was one of many failings in her.

There are several issues surrounding this. I of course am very glad that so many of us have more space in our modern Western homes nowadays and am appalled by stories of overcrowding but the moralising over sharing a bed with an infant is highly questionable. I can’t fail to mention cot death or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) in relation to this, which must one of the most devastating things to happen to a parent; I simply cannot imagine the pain. And so I feel it is really important to state that I am horribly aware of it being a very real issue in our culture.  It is in no way imaginary or some sort of perceived reality made material fact by the dominant class.  But it is certainly cultural. Deborah Jackson, in her book, Three in a Bed, highlights the fact that in cultures where “babies routinely sleep with their parents for the first few years of life, there is usually a very low rate of SIDS.” [26]. Evidently the situation is a complex one and facts and figures indicate smoking, alcohol and crucially, poverty, are significant factors within the statistics pertaining to SIDS.

Seeing so called experts, whether they are the highly educated kind or the more approachable very experienced kind, ranting on TV about getting a child out of a parent’s bed because it’s ‘not right’ is a very clear example of the dominant moral reality being imposed on society and turning something biologically sound and historically a primate norm into a perceived ‘wrong’.

Mothers are made to feel bad and guilty for letting their children sleep with them. They keep it a secret or if they talk about it at all do so with shame. Children boast because they were rewarded for managing to sleep in their own beds. The reward reinforces a feeling of shame for wanting to do something that feels right instinctively but wrong socially. The resulting internal tension leads to a sense of confusion and negativity about having needs at all. For me it was only by researching and then accepting that my child wanted to be with me through the night and likely would until he was about 5 that stopped me from worrying needlessly about something that he would of course outgrow. That is because he has a pre-learned genetic imperative to separate from me as he develops. Nowadays I think he’d rather eat vegetables than sleep in my bed and that’s saying something.

Bed sharing is only one contentious issue in a sea of questionable moral standards about parenting. The dominant culture’s moral coding that surrounds child rearing is filtered through reality TV about parenting certainly, and it can also be seen in any movie, TV programme, or newspaper where children are the subject.

But as suggested, there are several and various consensual state apparatuses, so it’s of course not the only place we’re being inculcated. Frank Ferudi’s Wasted explores reasons behind, as well as the outcome of, schools taking on far more than educating children intellectually. “This preoccupation with preparing young people for adult life coincides with an underestimation of the task of education. It by-passes the question of what the intellectual and cultural foundation should be upon which the preparation for adult life will take place.”[27] Essentially the time spent telling children who and how they should be as people eats into the time available to develop children’s intellectual and cultural appetites, which according to Ferudi is counter productive. If schools spent more of that time and energy enthusing children about actual subjects rather than instructing them in ‘the art of living’ they might see children spontaneously internalise some of the moral foundations they should be trying to encourage. [28]

At least then they’d more likely be highly interested in finding our what interpellation is.   Such children may grow up to question some of the dominant culture’s moral positions and have the wherewithal to affect positive changes.

At the end of this I should summarise in order to try and make sense of the references I’ve made which at times I have worried might seem tenuous or totally off the point. It has been quite hard to get all the strands of my thoughts down into a coherent set of points. (And I’m really not sure I have done! I am however sure I have made my life more difficult than it might have been had I just answered the questions more simply but I could not have done that had I not thought about all the things they made me think of….)

  • Language – words, speech, images, music, signs = signifiers – inform our perception of the world.
  • (There is slippage in meaning as it needs to be interpreted by individuals and groups)
  • Realties are based on the use of words – murder or assassinate are the same physical actions but have different meanings and a society determines which is which according to context
  • Signifiers help to construct ideological and in turn material structures around which societies exist
  • The dominant rulers of a society help to inform the moral code of a society
  • The moral code of a society are ideas that manifest themselves as and in institutions such as courts, schools, businesses, the army and are conducted through the media
  • Its not always easy to see this process happening as it starts to look like something that just is because that’s how it is
  • Our evolutionary history is informed by on-going (on-going because the imperatives exist in our genes) process of group and self selection
  • We as individuals and groups make calculations based on a cost-benefit ratio.
  • We are in a constant state of flux trying to satisfy both positions
  • State apparatuses give us pointers which help to serve and establish the group (so important to our existence)
  • It can be hard to understand why certain sub sections of a group don’t resist the dominant group especially when it doesn’t look that good for the sub section
  • The dominant culture’s moral position is extremely pernicious, spreads out through various means and creates a reality that is difficult to see as something other than actual reality
  • Overthrowing or displacing the dominant group, genetically speaking, presents an enormous challenge because natural selection favoured those that maintained their ‘groupishness’.

Despite our varying group realities, the quote by Edward O Wilson at the top of this post suggests that all of humanity is living in a reality that is doomed unless we do something about, regardless and in spite of what ever each groups relative reality suggests.  The state apparatus that Althusser and Gramsci discuss as being part of a capitalist society look to me like they all grew out of institutions that are either medieval or have their roots in other outdated modes of seeing the world.  However, we are compelled to live within structures that help us make some sense out of the chaos and resisting that altogether seems to me futile.  I suppose we must hope we can find ways to build ideologies and in turn societal structures that are less destructive in the long term than they seem to be now.


[1] The Social Conquest of Earth, Edward O. Wilson, Liveright Publishing Corporation, Publish April 9 2012, Kindle Edition, 3%

[2] The Social Conquest of Earth, Edward O. Wilson, Liveright Publishing Corporation, Publish April 9 2012, Kindle Edition, 17%

[3] As above

[4] Clayton J. Whisnant, “Difference between Structuralism and Poststructuralism (in a somewhat exaggerated form): A handout for HIS 389, last modified November 9, 2012

[5] As above, point 1 under poststructuralism

[6] Page 320, Ideology and ideological state apparatus, by Loius Althusser, included in Visual Culture, A Reader, edited by Jessica Stevens and Stuart Hall, Open University, Sage Publications, 2013 – reprinted 2013

[7] Page 321 as above

[8] Page 321 Althusser says that family structures “are more or less pathological” and adds “presupposing that any meaning can be assigned to that word” – (reading this is a little like talking to my ex husband, I must say), and that the subject will “have to ‘find; it’s place, i.e. ‘become’ the sexual subject (boy or girl) which it already is in advance.” He goes on to discuss very briefly Freud’s pre-genital and genital stages but then leaves it ‘to one side’ before moving on to religion.

[9] See above

[10] Page 323, Ideology and ideological state apparatus, by Loius Althusser, included in Visual Culture, A Reader, edited by Jessica Stevens and Stuart Hall, Open University, Sage Publications, 2013 – reprinted 2013

[11] Page 322, Ideology and ideological state apparatus, by Loius Althusser, included in Visual Culture, A Reader, edited by Jessica Stevens and Stuart Hall, Open University, Sage Publications, 2013 – reprinted 2013

[12] Page 318 Page 320, Ideology and ideological state apparatus, by Loiuse Althusser, included in Visual Culture, A Reader, edited by Jessica Stevens and Stuart Hall, Open University, Sage Publications, 2013 – reprinted 2013Suj

[13] Sujatha Fernandes YouTube video Gramsci and Althusser on State Power, Published Sep 19, 2014

[14] Page 319, Ideology and ideological state apparatus, by Loius Althusser, included in Visual Culture, A Reader, edited by Jessica Stevens and Stuart Hall, Open University, Sage Publications, 2013 – reprinted 2013

[15] As above

[16] Mei Fong, China’s brutal one child policy shaped how millions lived, loved and died, The Guardian, Sunday 1 November 2015

[17] As above

[18] As above

[19] The Impact of China’s one-child policy in four graphs, Alberto Nardelli and Glenn Swann, The Guardian, 29th October 2015

[20] Sujatha Fernandes, You Tube Video, Gramsci and Althusser on State Hegemony September 19 2014

[21] Patrick Cockburn, Isis, a year of the caliphate: Day-to day life in the ‘Islamic State’ – where any breach of restrictive divinely inspired rules is savagely punished, The Independent, Saturday 27th June 2015

[22] What I discovered from interviewing imprisoned ISIS fighters, Lydia Wilson, The Nation, October 21, 2015

[23] As above

[24] Mothers and Others, Sarah Blaffer Hrdy, Belknap Harvard, 2009

[25] Three in a bed, Deborah Jackson, Bloomsbury, 1989, Edition republished 2003

[26] As above page 110

[27] Page 59 Wasted, Why Education isn’t Education, Frank Ferudi, Continuum, 2009

[28] Page 60 As above


2 thoughts on “Project 1.4: Ideology and interpellation

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