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False consciousness is a concept originating from Marxist theory that characterizes the inability of people to perceive the economic, social, or political structures or relationships of society in their actual state of reality. In particular, it is nearly always conceptualized as a systemic process that occurs broadly throughout society but within the minds of individuals and serves to maintain the status quo. For Marxist theorists, this most importantly concerns the economic relationships between members of society, which are the source of social arrangements and political power. It also involves the inability to recognize one’s own social class membership and true interests, vis-à-vis the social class and interests of others. The actual form false consciousness takes varies by theory, from simple ignorance to deep-seated and systemic ...

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