The meaning of the term political ideology can be ambiguous, due in large part to differing understandings of the word ideology. In everyday usage, ideology has a pejorative connotation: the ideology of another person or group is seen to distort or distract from social and political realities. This usage contrasts “ideology” with “truth” and understands the former to be biased and the latter to be value neutral. Everyday usage of “ideology” differs from academic applications. In Marxist thought, ideology is linked to class. The ideology of the ruling class is thought to pervade the lower classes: the latter suffer from “false consciousness,” that is, they are tricked into accepting a social and political order that is not in their interest. In feminist thought, ...

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