Sociology Index


DOMINANT IDEOLOGY THESIS is associated with Karl Marx and his claim that each historical era is dominated by the intellectual ideas of its economically and politically ruling class. Dominant ideology means the principal ideas, values and morals in a given society. Similar to Instrumentalist Marxism.

The dominant ideology thesis asserts that working-class subordination in capitalist societies is largely the outcome of the cultural dominance achieved by capitalism and the capitalist class. According to Karl Marxs' the dominant ideology thesis ruling ideas in a given society are always the ideas of the ruling social group.

The institutions and culture of a society are widely permeated by dominant ideology. According to dominant ideology thesis, there is in most societies a set of belief which dominates all others and which, through its incorporation in the consciousness of subordinate classes, tends to inhibit the development of radical political dissent. Dominant ideology thesis does not claim that there is only one dominant ideology present within a society, or that dominant ideology is without challenge.

The concept of hegemony is capable of becoming a version of the dominant ideology thesis, which would bring it closer to the theories of both Louis Pierre Althusser and the Frankfurt School. - An introduction to theories of popular culture. - By Dominic Strinati

What is germane to upwards conflation, and also much more pervasive in neo-Marxism, is what has been aptly termed the 'dominant ideology thesis'. - Culture and agency: the place of culture in social theory - by Margaret Scotford Archer - 1996. 

The Dominant Ideology Thesis - Nicholas Abercrombie, Bryan S. Turner
British Journal of Sociology, Vol. 29, No. 2 (Jun., 1978), pp. 149-170.

Abstract: A good deal of research and theory construction in the sociology of knowledge relies on the 'dominant ideology thesis'. We propose a number of reinterpretations of dominant ideology thesis which at present systematically ignores the effect of the dominant ideology on the dominant class. There is evidence that the subordinate classes are not incorporated into the dominant ideology and that, by contrast, the dominant classes are deeply penetrated by and incorporated within the dominant belief system.

There is no well marked dominant ideology in the later phases of capitalism. The dominant ideology has the function of maintaining the dominant class's control over property in feudalism and early capitalism. The changing nature of the dominant class in terms of a partial divorce between ownership and control means that the dominant ideology ceases to be crucial for the coherence of the dominant class.

THE DOMINANT IDEOLOGY THESIS, by Nicholas Abercrombie, Stephen Hill,... Emmison Journal of Sociology.1983; 19: 158-161.

The Dominant Ideology and Brazilian Tabloids: News Content in Class-Targeted Newspapers  - Frederick Schiff, Sociological Perspectives, Vol. 39, No. 1 (Spring, 1996).
Abstract: A content analysis of the press in a middle-sized city in Brazil finds that the news agenda and local scope of the tabloid dailies are oriented to the working classes. Working-class oriented tabloids tend to be the strongest ideological supporters of capitalist legitimacy and continued elite control in the midst of rapid industrialization and newspaper competition in the provincial capital of Curitiba.

More serious papers oriented toward the middle class tend to allow for less hegemonic points of view in the period after the end of the military dictatorship. Stories with dominant ideological themes are played prominently in all newspapers and, in addition, are run more frequently throughout the tabloids.

WORKERS, FIRMS, AND THE DOMINANT IDEOLOGY: Hegemony and Consciousness in the Monopoly Core - Steven Peter Vallas - The Sociological Quarterly - Vol 32 Page 61 - Mar 1991 - Vol 32 Issue 1.
Theorists of work and class relations have argued that organizational processes within the monopoly 'core' induce employees to identify with the firm and consent to the social relations of production.

The adequacy of this 'hegemony' thesis is evaluated using data from two Bell operating companies, whose workers hold relatively high-paying primary sector jobs and are exposed to a strong corporate culture. The data indicate that hegemony theory inflates the role of ideological mechanisms in the reproduction of managerial control and underestimates workers' capacity to form a critical consciousness of the employment relationship.

SOCIOECONOMIC STATUS AND RACIAL GROUP INTERESTS AMONG BLACK AMERICANS -  Shelton, Jason; Wilson, George, Source: Sociological Spectrum, Volume 26, Number 2, Number 2/March-April 2006, pp. 183-204(22).
Abstract: This study assesses predictions from the dominant ideology thesis and theory of group interest concerning the relationship between socioeconomic status and racial solidarity across three domains of racial ideology. Racial solidarity indicators, such as the perception of discrimination, transcend individual socioeconomic-status in constructing a group-based racial viewpoint. The subjective social class measure, occupational prestige, tends to promote differences favorable to racial solidarity.

Cultural Domination and the Reaction to It - Janusz Mucha
Instytut socjologii universytetu Mikolaja Kopernika, Torun
The text is not about the debate on the cultural domination or a criticism of theories of domination, nor is it a dialogue with them. The following issues are discussed in the article: ethnic domination and its mechanisms; global approach to cultural domination and the center and periphery debate; debates on the repressive culture of rationality of the Frankfurt School, postmodernism and post-structuralism; debate on economic, political and ideological domination, including the “dominant ideology thesis” and Pierre Bourdieu’s structuralism.