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I can't say that I liked it, but at times I loved it. The overall thesis was a bit troubling, but there are an awful lot of points where he's not wrong. His criticism of capitalism is everything it should be: insightful and true. I just don't buy communism as the best alternative. It's incredibly dense in places, but considering the scope it's covering it's actually very accessible.
It's even funny in places! There are times when Al The question now is how to rate and review something like this. There are times when Althusser is sarcastic or witty, and I was not expecting that. Basically if you want to know more about communism and Marxism, or just want a good critique on capitalism, this is actually very readable.
I shall therefore say that, where only a single subject such and such an individual is concerned, the existence of the ideas of his belief is material in that his ideas are his material actions inserted into material practices governed by material rituals which are themselves defined by the material ideological apparatus from which derive the ideas of that subject.
I I shall therefore say that, where only a single subject such and such an individual is concerned, the existence of the ideas of his belief is material in that his ideas are his material actions inserted into material practices governed by material rituals which are themselves defined by the material ideological apparatus from which derive the ideas of that subject.
But what I like is how complete Marxism seems as a world view; almost all of human culture and civilization can be viewed under its lens. These are distinct from traditional State Apparatuses, such as government, the police, and the army, which he redefined as Repressive State Apparatuses RSA. The institutions of the latter are church, school, family, science, law, and most surprisingly for me: art.
The eternal thing is the State; humans come and go. An example is the concept of wages: workers receive currency for their work so they may eat and reproduce more workers. The created apparatuses can be divided into two camps: infrastructure and superstructure, where the former is the operating economy ex.
Both of these systems are the source of State Power. Now the reason State superstructure needs both an RSA and ISA is because the State cannot rule on force or ideology alone—both are needed and preferably married.
In short, Ideological State Institutions manufacture and institutionalize ideologies necessary for the State to operate. Scary stuff. Thus Althusser argues that ideology is both imaginary and unconscious: it does not reflect reality and is not actively chosen by us. This is the key point, as ideology is traditionally portrayed as a world-view that people actively choose themselves. We see ourselves as autonomous and empowered individuals, when they are in fact oppressed subjects.
This is a self-reinforcing system that is difficult to break and harder to perceive. One effect produced by all these is the transformation of all individuals into State subjects. But because we are born into this system at and in many ways before birth, all individuals are always-already subjects. It gets even crazier when we apply these terms to other power dynamics: for example, in Christian religion all Christians are subjects to God, who is in this system the Subject. Suggesting God is ultimately subordinate to the theological apparatus he created.
You may ask why anyone would join this system, even unconsciously, but the important thing is that the State Apparatus allows people to self-dictate within the system. The illusion of freedom combined with stability is tempting enough, even when it entails class oppression.
Of course the classic Marxist conclusion to all this is that the proletariat must overthrows these systems: both State power and the State Apparatuses. At this point, though Althusser only briefly and mechanically prescribed this antidote, I smelled a hint of fear in his writing. Old roots run deep.
Anyways, while all this was interesting enough, the ramification in art is what interests me most. Sexism, racism, class insensitivity; you know the drill. Not completely unknown to me, but seeing it here in this Marxist framework was important. I shall do my part to overthrow the capitalist oppressors, one book review at a time. View 1 comment. This is really great in what it says about ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses in contrast to Repressive State Apparatuses.
There's a lot that precedes and works in tandem with Foucault's thought, which obviously goes beyond in talking about apparatuses as productive forces. The biggest barrier to this being great and I'm being generous with 4 stars is Althusser's ridiculous Marxist-Leninist orthodoxy and exceptionalism. As obvious as it is that when you start reading and writing and t This is really great in what it says about ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses in contrast to Repressive State Apparatuses.
As obvious as it is that when you start reading and writing and thinking like a Marxist, all the processes of thinking become Marxist in structure. Althusser is straightforward in admitting that Marxism is an ideology, but quickly falls back on it being a different kind of ideology that somehow!
Anyways, this would be great if it wasn't so set on insisting that communism is somehow outside the scope of the things he is critiquing. A classic which tells how our minds are controlled in bourgeoise society, not directly by violence but through media, schooling and institutions like church.
I had to consult wikipedia to understand Althusser's point Wow, wow, wow. Althusser has expanded by sources to express the literary canon whilst feeding my Ongoing cognizant process. Ah, ideological State apparatuses, I can name you fancier! Now it is this knowledge that we have to reach, if you will, while speaking in ideology, and from within ideology we have to outline a discourse which tries to break with ideology, in order to dare to be the beginning of a scientific i.
As a first formulation I shall say: all ideology hails or interpellates concrete individuals as concrete subjects, by the functioning of the category of the subject. This is a proposition which entails that we distinguish for the moment between concrete individuals on the one hand and concrete subjects on the other, although at this level concrete subjects only exist insofar as they are supported by a concrete individual.
By this mere one-hundred-and-eighty-degree physical conversion, he becomes a subject. Experience shows that the practical telecommunication of hailings is such that they hardly ever miss their man: verbal call or whistle, the one hailed always recognizes that it is really him who is being hailed. Naturally for the convenience and clarity of my little theoretical theatre I have had to present things in the form of a sequence, with a before and an after, and thus in the form of a temporal succession.
There are individuals walking along. But in reality these things happen without any succession. The existence of ideology and the hailing or interpellation of individuals as subjects are one and the same thing. I might add: what thus seems to take place outside ideology to be precise, in the street , in reality takes place in ideology. What really takes place in ideology seems therefore to take place outside it. It is necessary to be outside ideology, i.
As is well known, the accusation of being in ideology only applies to others, never to oneself unless one is really a Spinozist or a Marxist, which, in this matter, is to be exactly the same thing. Which amounts to saying that ideology has no outside for itself , but at the same time that it is nothing but outside for science and reality.
Spinoza explained this completely two centuries before Marx, who practised it but without explaining it in detail.
Ideologie und ideologische Staatsapparate
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