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Kathleen Nadeau

In: 21st Century Anthropology: A Reference Handbook

Chapter 46: Ideology and Anthropology

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Ideology and Anthropology
Ideology and anthropology

This chapter looks at hermeneutic and Marxist theories of ideology in anthropology that link the concept to underlying social processes and material conditions that work to sustain relations of power and dominance in a given society. It employs the example of religion as an aspect of ideology for illustrative purposes. Religion as used here does not refer to some supernatural or theological category at a universal level. Rather, it is looked at as an aspect of ideology in all of its historic and synchronic connections to an already existing society to provide the knowledge needed to constructively understand it. The chapter is arranged accordingly. Karl Marx's approach to the study of ideology is first introduced. Next, Louis Althusser's concept of ...

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