Karl Marx, a German philosopher, and Friedrich Engels, a German Sociologist, were the joint founders of this school of thought.
Marx and Engels announced the advent of Communism in their jointly written
COMMUNIST MANIFESTO of 1848.
The aim of Marxism is to bring about a classless society, based on the common
ownership of the means of production, distribution and exchange.
o Consciousness and perceptions within a society
o Often controlled by the ruling class
o Determined according to what is in the ruling class’s best interests
o Confuses the alienated groups
o Creates false consciousness
o Friedrich Engels described ideology as “a false consciousness”
o Antonio Gramsci
• Italian Marxist
o Domination of particular sections of society by the powerful classes not necessarily through threats of violence or the law but by winning their consent to be governed and dominated .
Base and Superstructure
o Base: people with regard to “the social production of their existence” forms the
o Superstructure: political + legal institutions + religious, philosophical, and other ideas.
o French Marxist philosopher
o A Structural Marxist
o Argued that ideology is circulated through particular structures in society
o Ideological State Apparatuses
• The process of consenting to ideology, accepting it and not being aware of
• It makes the subject believe that s/he is an independent being and not a subject at all controlled by outside forces.
• In other words, ideology interpellates the individual as a subject but makes
her/him believe s/he is a free agent.
• Borrowed from Freud
• An effect arises from a variety of causes rather than from a single factor
o Relative autonomy
• Indicates structures have no essence, or focus, or centre
Terry Eagleton: THE IDEOLOGY OF THE AESTHETIC (1990)
Frederic Jameson: THE POLITICAL UNCONSCIOUS: NARRATIVE AS A
SOCIALLY SYMBOLIC ACT (1981)
Raymond Williams: MARXISM AND LITERATURE (1977)
Christopher Caudwell: ILLUSION AND REALITY (1930)