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Media Theory Ideologies for Narratives

Ideologies.

Why do people think the ways they do?

What is an ideology?

political and social ideologies

People and leaders

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A leader

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Political

Ideologies

Below are detailed descriptions of several dominant political ideologies.

The process of leading people is called governing. People like to be governed because governments make laws to organise and keep citizens safe. People need representatives because not everyone can be involved.

Governments also manage big institutions and organisations like armies (defence), health, education, public transport, communication (media), business, trade and roads. These are tasks that individuals could not organise by themselves. But when they have a government, society is organised.

Styles of governing

There are different approaches to how a leader and governments organise people. These different approaches are known as ‘political ideologies’. Some political ideologies include;

  • Anarchism
  • Communism
  • Socialism
  • Capitalism
  • Democracy (and constitutional monarchy)
  • Liberalism
  • Conservatism
  • Monarchy
  • Fascism

Notice these are ordered. That is because in this order, these political ideologies vary in the degree of equality given to ordinary people. The ideologies, also known as ‘political systems’ run from those where people are more equal with their leader, at the top, to those where they are not equal with their leader at the bottom of the list. The usual way to describe this variation in equality, power and control between people and a leader is to place them on a horizontal line. Systems that promote equality are said to be on the Left and those where the leader has absolute control is known to be on the Right.

(L) Anarchism, Communism, Socialism, Capitalism, Democracy, Liberalism, Conservatism, Monarchy,  Fascism (R)

However, you will learn that despite the overall goals of these systems, power and control is not always lesser on the Left.

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I have created this circular diagram to represent the different political ideologies in their relationship with each other. It also shows the degree of 'totalitarian' control exerted by the leader to maintain the system of governance.

Check your understanding with because, but, so...

Finish the following sentences:

A leader might adopt an ideology because….

A leader might adopt an ideology, but…

A leader might adopt an ideology, so…

Anarchism

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Aim: The organisation of society on a voluntary basis without forming a governing body

Advantage: Equal right to thought and deeds, cooperative not hierarchical. Consensus decision making

Disadvantage: Cannot play on the world stage

Example: Hippie communes USA, Australia 1960 - 70s

Example of leader: Anarchists do not have hierarchical leaders

Check your understanding with because, but, so...

Finish the following sentences:

An anarchist wants to eliminate hierarchy in society because….

An anarchist wants to eliminate hierarchy in society but...

An anarchist wants to eliminate hierarchy in society so...

Communism

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Aim: To create a classless and completely equal society where people receive according to their needs

Advantage: Equal distribution of wealth, spread across society

Disadvantage: Extreme government control of economy and society, less incentive to work hard

Example: Soviet Russia

Example of leader: Joseph Stalin 1927 - 1953

Socialism

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Aim: To create an equal society where the workers primarily control the planning and resources. It is ‘diet-coke’ Communism and often confused with Communism. However, contemporary Socialism is based on a Capitalist economic model

Advantage: Considers the benefit of society over individuals needs

Disadvantage: Can sometimes discourage competition and aspiration.

Example: Nordic Nations (Sweden, Norway, Finland)

Example of leader: Senator Bernie Sanders USA 2007 -

Capitalism

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Aim: An economic system based on trade and manufacture of goods and services sold for profit. Inherit in its name is that is the ability for individuals and corporations to accumulate capital wealth. Decision making is based on promoting a capitalist market economy. Capitalism is usually embedded in other political systems such as Socialism or Monarchy. Market forces are more important than welfare.

Advantage: As it based on consumer choice there is competition for better products and services

Disadvantage: Unfair concentration of enormous wealth in the hands of the few

Example: United States of America

Example of leader: Donald Trump 2016 - .

Check your understanding with because, but, so...

Finish the following sentences:

Capitalism helps people get ahead because….

Capitalism helps people get ahead but...

Capitalism helps people get ahead so...

Democracy

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Aim: To create a fair and distributed government by the population by electing representatives who become their leaders. Countries operating democratically have regular, transparent elections to ensure that political leaders remain a current representation of the population. Government is charged with law making that represents its citizens.

Advantage: A system that is fair in that each citizen has one vote. This gives equal representation to all people in choosing leaders and endorsing government policy at election time.

Disadvantage: Democracies operating within a capitalist economic model provide an unequal distribution of wealth to a select few. This gives these people greater access to power and influence within society, as employer and media patron. The resultant unequal voice in a democracy creates imbalances in the system.

Example: Australia

Example of leader: Scott Morrison 2019 -

Check your understanding with an appositive

Write an appositive in the space provided:

Democracy, _____________________, helps companies gain in wealth.

Liberalism

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Aim: To organise society based on liberty. This is underpinned by the values of a free market, individual rights, secularism, gender and racial equality, freedom of speech and freedom of the media.

Advantage: That through the recognition of equality each person is treated fairly and with dignity

Disadvantage: That through equal treatment of all members of the population, those who are at a disadvantage do not receive assistance

Example: Northern European, Scandinavian countries (Finland, Norway, Sweden), Ireland and New Zealand are considered to be liberal

Example of leader: Julia Gillard 2007 - 10

Conservatism

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Aim: To preserve traditional values and institutions and prevent them from changing

Advantage: Traditions and cultural identity are kept alive. Respect for elders is a key value or conservatism.

Disadvantage: Holding on to the past creates tension as times change. Conservative values favor imperial thought and prejudice against equality

Example: United States of America

Example of leader: Tony Abbott 2013 - 15

Monarchy

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Aim: A form of political governance where the succession of leaders is hereditary and lasts for life or abdication. Monarchs include king, queen, emperor, tsar, sultan. The power of a monarch may vary from symbolic in a republic, to restricted in a democratic constitutional monarchy (Australia) to fully autocratic.

Advantage: Clarity of legitimacy to rule. Royal families can be popular with citizens around the world. As a monarch is not chosen nor deposed by election they can operate above ‘party politics’.

Disadvantage: As monarchies are hereditary this creates dynastic rule. Therefore, their decision making is based on traditionalism

Example: United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia (where the King actually rules)

Example of leader: Queen Elizabeth II 1953 (UK) - , King Salman (Saudi Arabia) 2015 -

Check your understanding with because, but, so...

Finish the following sentences:

A monarchy builds national identity because….

A monarchy builds national identity but...

A monarchy builds national identity so...

Fascism

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Aim: To advance the interests of a nation above all else in society. Fascism is characterised by autocratic leaders. a single party system and forcible suppression of opposition. Fascism is opposed to liberalism. Economic difficulty has been a cause for the establishment of fascism.

Advantage: Strong sense of national identity, unity and stability

Disadvantage: Totalitarian control given to an autocratic leader (dictator). Freedom of thought, speech and action is punishable.

Example: Nazi Germany 1933 - 45

Example of leader: Adolf Hitler

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Social

Ideologies

Below are detailed descriptions of several dominant social ideologies.

Much like political leaders and governments, people also have varying opinions and values regarding ways in which people should best live and work together. Unlike political ideologies that are predominantly shared among a nation’s population, different people are guided by different social, and cultural approaches (known as social ideologies) within a population. That is not to say that everyone believes in (subscribes to) a different social ideology, it is just that they are shared by groups and enacted by individuals. Furthermore, different individuals subscribe to different social ideologies at different times, depending on an issue and its relevance to them.

Check your understanding with because, but, so...

Finish the following sentences:

People adopt social ideologies because….

People adopt social ideologies but...

People adopt social ideologies so...

Dominant and subordinate social and cultural groupings

People naturally identify (literally or figuratively move closer) with people who are physically similar or think in the same way as they do. People in a majority (more in numbers than others) are known as belonging to the ‘dominant’ cultural group. Those in a minority (less in numbers than others) are in a ‘subordinate’ cultural group. This tendency promotes homogenisation (grouping together) whilst simultaneously excluding (rejecting) others. In addition, people belonging to dominant groups accumulate greater power in comparison to the power of those in a minority. This is seen at a national level in discrimination between race and organisationally where one gender, permitted ownership of property, employment, voice and/ or governance discriminates against the other.

Some social ideologies act to reinforce the traditional tendencies of dominant and subordinate cultural groupings and others act to challenge them and build a different world.

Check your understanding with an appositive

Write an appositive in the space provided:

People in the dominant cultural group, _____________________, often overlook the needs of those in the minority.

Examples of social ideologies include;

  • Collectivism
  • Individualism
  • Environmentalism
  • Racism
  • Equality (Gender, race, age, nationality, ability, etc)
  • Religion
  • Traditionalism
  • Progressivism
  • Feminism
  • Masculinism
  • Patriotism/ Nationalism

Collectivism

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Aim: Values prioritisation of the needs of the group rather than of the self or individual. It is altruistic and recognises interdependence.

Example: Socialism, collective decision making with friends

Individualism

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Aim: Values prioritisation of the needs of the individual rather than of the group. It aims for independence and self-reliance

Example: A person who places emphasis on improvement of their physique, academic ability or wealth regardless of the opinions or needs of others

Check your understanding with because, but, so...

Finish the following sentences:

(Choose) Collectivism/ Individualism is great for society because….

(Choose) Collectivism/ Individualism is great for society but...

(Choose) Collectivism/ Individualism is great for society so...

Environmentalism

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Aim: Values local and global environmental protection. This is manifest or enacted in criticism of resource use including non-renewable sources of energy, mass animal farming and production, built-in-obsolescence, consumerism leading to pollution and climate change. Environmentalism emphasises sustainability.

Example: A person who lives self-sufficiently drawing their requirements from renewable sources

Racism

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Aim: Values one race (cultural origin, physical appearance) over another as a result of the belief that people’s differences determine their superiority and inferiority.

Example: Apartheid practised in South Africa, USA slavery and segregation, Australia ‘Stolen generation’ Genocides of Nazi Germany, Africa, Europe, Asia and Australia

Check your understanding with because, but, so...

Finish the following sentences:

Racism is harmful for society because….

Racism is harmful for society but...

Racism is harmful for society so...

Equality (or egalitarianism)

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Aim: Also known as egalitarianism, priorities equalisation of rights for all people. This is manifest in the attempt to equal opportunity, eligibility, legal status and reward for people of each gender, all races, ages, sexual orientation, nationalities, physical and mental abilities. Unlike liberalism, which shares some aims of equality, equalising the opportunities for people requires corrections. This may be seen as prejudice in favour of the disadvantaged.

Example: Equal Opportunity Act Victoria 2010, Multicultural Act Victoria 2011

Religion

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Aim: The organisation and explanation of the world and human morals, ethics and practices by relating these to a supernatural or spiritual being. The origins of religious stories are considered divine or sacred. The ancient religions of Egypt and Greece were traditionally polytheistic, where devotees worship a variety of Gods. Abrahamic religions are monotheistic, where the religion recognises one God. These religions include Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Religion is primarily a spiritual component of humanity. However, religious hierarchies have and still exert political influence.

Example: Roman Catholic Church

Check your understanding with an appositive

Write an appositive in the space provided:

The Catholic Church, _____________________, unites people around the world.

Traditionalism

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Aim: The preservation of so called ‘natural order’ that values prudence, essentially the opposite of consumerism, over individualism. Traditionalists believe that society is hierarchical where control and legislation stem not from rational, logic but from the traditions and customs of the community. As a consequence traditionalists resist change even if its need is substantiated by evidence.

Example: A parent or grandparent may exhibit some characteristics of traditionalism as a result of their immersion in cultural customs over a long period of time.

Check your understanding with because, but, so...

Finish the following sentences:

Traditionalism helps society retain our cultural identity because….

Traditionalism helps society retain our cultural identity but...

Traditionalism helps society retain our cultural identity so...

Progressivism

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Aim: Values social reform based on evidence known as ‘empirical knowledge’. Progressive people call attention to negative effects of current institutions and advocate for positive social change. This may present as egalitarianism and a criticism of capitalism.

Example: Students as they become enlightened through education

Feminism

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Aim: To change society’s prioritisation of men and the male perspective. Feminism not only believes in gender equality, in relation to opportunity, pay, safety and education but advocates for it by protecting women’s rights. There have been several ‘waves’ of Feminism, beginning with Women’s Right to Vote, extending through reproductive rights and currently Fourth Wave Feminism (from 2012 - ) Among other issues this movement utilises social media and advocates for the cessation of sexual assault and abuse in the workplace.

Example: #MetToo movement 2016

Check your understanding with because, but, so...

Finish the following sentences:

Feminism originated because….

Feminism originated but...

Feminism originated so...

Masculinism

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Aim: To oppose the growing impact of women’s rights as they are perceived to be detrimental to men’s authority and socio-cultural identity. Masculinism is in opposition to Feminism. Masculinists promote a traditional gender view. This view ascribes the role of bread-winner to men and care-giver to women.

Example: Donald Trump, USA, 2016 -

Patriotism/ Nationalism

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Aim: The promotion of pride and loyalty to one’s homeland and its national identity with other citizens who share the same sentiment. Patriotism and nationalism build collective morale and resilience on the international stage. Excessive nationalism may manifest itself as protectionism and xenophobia (fear of others) and cause racism.

Example: Pauline Hanson’s One Nation political party

Check your understanding with because, but, so...

Finish the following sentences:

Feminism originated because….

Feminism originated but...

Feminism originated so...

TASKS 1

1.1 What ideologies power Australia?

Create a table and include each political and social ideology on this page. Give each one a + or - rating, and the amount to indicate how much of that ideology is or is not supported in Australia's society.

1.2 Survivors

You are a member of a group of people whose plane has crash-landed on a desert island. You will need to create some rules to live in harmony. Identify your top three ideologies you would reference as a survivor and explain how these will benefit and keep your community safe.

1.3 Design a flag

As an extension to task 1.4, design a flag that would illustrate your top three ideologies symbolically. Use images and colours to express your ideas.