As stated in our Rhetoric and Civic Life book, “an ideology is a coherent set of beliefs that people use to understand events and the behavior of other people; they are also used to predict events and behaviors.”
I would describe an ideology as an in depth stereotype. Ideologies are how you categorize yourself and other people based on what you know or assume.
One ideology that circulates around me a lot is the ideology of a team. There are many expectations from others when you are part of a team. These expectations are aspects of the ideology of being on a team. Some of these aspects include being friends with or respecting your teammates, always putting the team first, working together to achieve something that you couldn’t do alone, and having each others backs when you need it.
These are all things that people think of when they think of a team. Ideologies, or aspects of the ideology, can change over time or in different circumstances though. For example, the idea of always being a friend and respecting your teammates may change if one of your teammates isn’t a friend to you. You might alter your ideology a little, from being friends and respectful to teammates to only being respectful to them if a teammate is not friendly back. Someone could also change their view on the entire ideology of a team through life. They could go form thinking a team as their family to believing that a team is only something required by the activity but their individual success is what is most important.
Ideologies to me are in depth stereotypes, which can be right or wrong, but it is how a person thinks and organizes aspects of their lives. Without ideologies people would have no expectations for certain things or predictions on how something may turn out. Ideologies guide us through life, altering as we go, without them we would be walking blind.