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11 Characteristics of Ideology

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An ideology is a belief system that can be used as the basis for a society. The following are the common characteristics of ideologies.

Comprehensive Beliefs

An ideology is a belief system that is comprehensive enough to be used to structure and run a society.

Organizing Principles

Ideologies include broadly applicable principles that can be used to organize a society.

Moral Principles

Ideologies may include principles of right and wrong.

Rights, Freedoms and Obligations

Ideologies outline a system of rights, freedoms and obligations of the individual. Collectivist ideologies focus on obligations and individualist ideologies focus on rights and freedoms.

Actionable

An ideology is actionable such that its ideas are concrete and realistic enough to implement. For example, "all citizens have a right to land on Mars" wouldn't be an ideology because it is too difficult to put into practice at the moment.

Coherent

Ideologies are meant to be communicated broadly to large populations who are asked to follow the ideology. This requires the ideology to be coherent and comprehensible. For example, postmodernism arguably isn't an ideology because its widely accused of being incoherent, inconsistent and incomprehensible.

Community

Ideologies can be used to create communities such that people feel a sense of belonging and connectedness with a group.

Civility

Ideologies propose a system for groups to live together in a productive state of peace and civility with a system for avoiding and resolving disputes.

Motivational Force

Ideologies motivate followers into action.

Institutions & Systems

Successful ideologies become institutions and systems that influence life in a society.

Traditions & Norms

Ideologies may be reinforced with elements of culture such as symbols, stories, norms and traditions.

Notes

Ideologies are an element of an individual's worldview that are rooted in elements of character such as ideas and emotions regarding morals, risk taking and change. As such, it is common for an individual's ideological views to remain stable for many years or throughout their entire life.
Overview: Ideology Characteristics
Type
Definition
A belief system that can be used as the basis for a society.
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Society

The definition of society with examples.

Herd Mentality

The definition of herd mentality with examples.

Credentialism

The definition of credentialism with examples.

Social Class Characteristics

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Collectivism

The definition of collectivism with examples.

Paternalism

The definition of paternalism with examples.

Ideology

The definition of ideology with a list of examples.

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The definition of media manipulation with examples.

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