Feminism, environmentalism, and modernism might be described as ideologies of identity because they appeal to images of the self as they have emerged since the end of the Cold War, and in some ways they are fragmented and disjointed collections of values and beliefs more than coherent and structured belief systems as were the older ideologies we have studied. Part of the cause may lie in new media and technologies, which permit “specialty channels” of communication allowing smaller communities to congregate around particular ideas. Some scholars have heralded the end of the mass ideologies of the earlier 20th Century (Fukuyama, 2006), but this has been heard before, (Bell, 1962) and rejected (Jost, 2006).
Feminism, environmentalism, modernism and post-modernism are not as easy to characterize as liberalism, conservatism, fascism and communism. They do not fit easily on the axes of ideas that we have previously discussed. Certainly they may be described as broadly coherent systems of ideas that describe, explain, and prescribe action – sometimes. Feminism is most clearly an ideology in the traditional sense, and does appear in the Oxford Handbook of Political Ideologies. Environmentalism is indexed, and makes a brief appearance in connection with several traditional ideologies, including conservatism and “green ideology”. Modernism is not indexed, although modernity and post modernism get brief mentions – modernity in the context of the origin of contemporary ideologies, and postmodernism in the context of the end of ideologies.
Ideologies had their origin in the modernity of post-enlightenment rejection of a divinely ordered universe. By the late twentieth century, some people were arguing that the modern era was passing into a new period in which the meta-narratives (big, overarching stories) that characterized classic ideologies were not longer credible. While some secular ideologies fragmented into patterns of belief based on particular identities, there was also a resurgence of belief in religions narratives and a variety of fundamentalism – Christian, Islamic, Hindu, even Buddhist.
Scott, ch.5 – citing sources, and how we know what isn’t so.
Our seminar this week will concentrate on self-assessment question 3, which will give us an opportunity to practice answering a possible essay question for the final exam.
Weekly activities can be adjusted by class coordinators in consultation with the professor
Week 5 checklist of material
 Introduction from class coordinator – time allocation
 Current events of political significance (domestic, international) [60s]
 Review/amend focus of learning objectives [5D]
 Key terms [5D, GLI]
 Mapping the Political Landscape [5D, GLI]
 External resources [class coordinator]
 Exam questions [5D, GLI]
 Looking ahead: next week’s class coordinator introduces (last 15 minutes)