Today, “ideology” is usually taken to mean a system of beliefs or a set of ideas that both constitute a general worldview and uphold particular power dynamics. Media are particularly significant in this context, as the stories they tell and the belief systems they promote can be powerful amplifiers of particular ideologies. For instance, magazine articles that repeatedly address or call to and “interpellate” us first and foremost as consumers—as buying subjects—are on some level promoting an ideology of consumerism. The promotion of such an ideology might be understood as variously helping to marginalize those who cannot afford to buy; to shape the subjectivities of those who can, by encouraging them to desire more and more consumer goods; to prioritize our identities as individual consumers above and beyond that of producers or citizens (by, for example, encouraging us to monitor our health via vitamin intake but not to campaign together for reduced working hours or against the wider problems of privatized healthcare provision); and, on a broader level, to contribute toward the atomization and “individualization” of our social relations and our ways of being in the world.

This essay may be found on page 98 of the printed volume.

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