Examining Ideological Influences
the United States, most of us want to believe that we are unique
individuals, yet we often wear the latest fashions and listen
to the current hit songs as we are influenced by the media. Even
our belief in "individualism" is rooted in the religious,
economic, and political ideologies of this country!
In RLC 110-111, students learn to recognize the effects of common
social beliefs, the influences of ideologies upon their perspectives.
This examination, however, does not mean that "society is
to blame" or "TV made me do it" because the complexity
of culture is stressed. Students learn that every culture has
many competing beliefs; the now popular, "dominant ideologies"
are being challenged by new, "emergent" alternatives
and the effects of older, "residual" beliefs are still
being felt. Faced with these competing beliefs, we are more, not
less, responsible for our perspectives and actions.
For two examples, go to an excerpt
from a student's RLC 110 paper and a related
assignment from another department.
In RLC 110-111, students learn to think critically about current
beliefs and the options provided by other perspectives using historical
and cultural analysis. See the RLC Glossary
for definitions of "dominant, emergent, residual ideologies."