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Theories of Ideology
The Powers of Alienation and Subjection
Theories of Ideology is sure to become the point of reference for all future scholarly attempts to understand ideology.
The emergence of ideology theories marked a re-foundation of Marxist research into the functioning of alienation and subjection. Going beyond traditional concepts of ‘manipulation’ and ‘false consciousness’, they turned to the material existence of hegemonic apparatuses and focused on the mostly unconscious effects of ideological practices, rituals and discourses.

In this magisterial work Jan Rehmann reconstructs the different strands of ideology theories ranging from Marx to Adorno/Horkheimer, from Lenin to Gramsci, from Althusser to Stuart Hall, from Bourdieu to W.F. Haug, from Foucault to Butler. He compares them in a way that a genuine dialogue becomes possible and applies the different methods to the ‘market totalitarianism’ of today’s high-tech-capitalism
Reviews
  • "This book's treatment is the best introduction we have to the complicated notion of ideology. It provides the most sophisticated yet subtle analyses of how hegemony operates in our time. Jan Rehmann has given us a marvelous gift."
    —Cornel West, Professor of Philosophy and Christian Practice, Union Theological Seminary

    "My own intellectual and political conviction is that we need the concept of ideology all the more urgently today, when its use has been stigmatized by contemporary philosophy. Rehmann's book provides a detailed and indispensable account of its history, the various modern versions of the concept and the debates which have swirled around it: just what we need to make a new beginning!"
    —Fredric Jameson, Duke University

    "Part of a larger movement of boldly reconceptualizing Marxism in and for the 21st century, Rehmann offers a philosophically self-conscious rethinking of ideology. Based on critical surveys of other important theories (especially those emerging from Gramsci and Althusser) he explores how and why ideology shapes society, how society shapes the conscious and unconscious parts of ideologies, and how this applies to current phenomena such as neoliberalism, the capitalist crisis since 2007, and the tea party movement."
    —Richard D. Wolff, University of Massachusetts

    “Perhaps next to the work of Gramsci, Althusser, Eagleton and Therborn on ideology, Rehmann’s comprehensive historical account of ideology provides the most insightful and exquisite illumination of the term ideology today.”
    —Thomas Klikauer, Capital and Class

    "Theories of Ideology is an excellent book for anyone who wants to get immersed in contemporary political theory. But it is also a very important book for reflection upon the intellectual health of political theory and the political health of social life which always accompany one another."
    —Lucas Miranda, Marx and Philosophy Review of Books
  • "This book's treatment is the best introduction we have to the complicated notion of ideology. It provides the most sophisticated yet subtle analyses of how hegemony operates in our time. Jan Rehmann has given us a marvelous gift."
    —Cornel West, Professor of Philosophy and Christian Practice, Union Theological Seminary

    "My own intellectual and political conviction is that we need the concept of ideology all the more urgently today, when its use has been stigmatized by contemporary philosophy. Rehmann's book provides a detailed and indispensable account of its history, the various modern versions of the concept and the debates which have swirled around it: just what we need to make a new beginning!"
    —Fredric Jameson, Duke University

    "Part of a larger movement of boldly reconceptualizing Marxism in and for the 21st century, Rehmann offers a philosophically self-conscious rethinking of ideology. Based on critical surveys of other important theories (especially those emerging from Gramsci and Althusser) he explores how and why ideology shapes society, how society shapes the conscious and unconscious parts of ideologies, and how this applies to current phenomena such as neoliberalism, the capitalist crisis since 2007, and the tea party movement."
    —Richard D. Wolff, University of Massachusetts

    “Perhaps next to the work of Gramsci, Althusser, Eagleton and Therborn on ideology, Rehmann’s comprehensive historical account of ideology provides the most insightful and exquisite illumination of the term ideology today.”
    —Thomas Klikauer, Capital and Class

    "Theories of Ideology is an excellent book for anyone who wants to get immersed in contemporary political theory. But it is also a very important book for reflection upon the intellectual health of political theory and the political health of social life which always accompany one another."
    —Lucas Miranda, Marx and Philosophy Review of Books

Other books by Jan Rehmann

  • Max Weber: Modernisation as Passive Revolution

    Originally published in German, this volume makes available in English the definitive Marxist critique of Max Weber’s politics and method.