Ideology pp 123-144 | Cite as

The Political Uses of Ideology

  • John Plamenatz
Part of the Key Concepts in Political Science book series (KCP)


Ideology, to many people, means above all the doctrines that political parties and other organizations are committed to, or which they use in their endeavours to get power and influence. In this sense, it is deliberately formulated and exploited; it is what most people have in mind when they speak of indoctrination. But they do not think of it as altogether invented by the parties and other organized groups that make use of it; they think of it as connected with, as feeding upon, ideology in a broader and looser sense. Parties and other groups appeal to some classes or sections more than to others, and their doctrines, if they are to be attractive, must be in keeping with the beliefs, attitudes and. aspirations of those classes or sections. Thus ideology, in the narrower ‘political’ sense, feeds upon ideology in the broader and looser sense. Indeed it not only feeds upon it but also helps to transform it. This interaction between ‘political’ and ‘popular’ ideology, though often noticed, has never been studied.


Collective Action Political Theorist Established Order Class Interest Loose Sense 
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Copyright information

© Pall Mall Press Ltd, London 1970

Authors and Affiliations

  • John Plamenatz

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