False Consciousness/False Needs

False consciousness is a concept that developed in Marxist theory, in conjunction with ideology, to denote working-class people's inability to understand the economic and social conditions of their exploitation, especially insofar as they have been deceived by the forces of religion and nationalism. The concept of false needs emerged in the mid-twentieth century among scholars associated with the Frankfurt School in response to the consumer culture's use of advertising and marketing to manufacture desire and demand. The common thread linking both is the idea that oppressed peoples have been distracted by cultural and ideological processes that prevent them from understanding the sources of their oppression and from organizing to effect a social revolution. Both concepts have frequently been criticized by cultural theorists, including neo-Marxists, on ...

  • Loading...
locked icon

Sign in to access this content

Get a 30 day FREE TRIAL

  • Watch videos from a variety of sources bringing classroom topics to life
  • Read modern, diverse business cases
  • Explore hundreds of books and reference titles