Political Ideologies Essay

Political Ideologies Essay.

Ideology is a highly contested phenomenon used in politics, social science and philosophical discourse. Heywood (2003, p12) defines ideology as ‘a more or less coherent set of ideas that provides the basis for organised political action whether this is intended to preserve, modify or overthrow the existing system of power.’ According to Freeden (2003) we are all ideologists in the sense that we prescribe to certain political views in our environment. He goes on to say that ideologies are competing interpretations of making sense of the worlds we live in.

Ideologies look at what society should be like and why the society is the way it is. Leach (2002) states that the term ideology is quite problematic.

He also defines ideology as “interconnected set of ideas which form a perspective on the world” Leach. R. (2002, p.1) Williams (1998) defines ideology as a system of ideas and beliefs that offer a means of understanding the world. He also adds that these ideas provide a programme to shape the future and seen as a guide to action.

From the above, it is clear that there is no agreed definition of what ideology is. My view of ideology is ideas or views attempting to explain how society should be. Political parties may have conflicting ideas on certain issues of society and therefore influence the policies which affect service users.

From this perspective, I can suggest that ideology is related to a set or system of beliefs, ideas and values that individuals, groups and organisations hold. Examples of ideologies include communism, socialism, liberalism, conservatism, feminism and fascism.

Implications to Social Work

Many service users who come in contact with social workers will be experiencing poverty and deprivation. Social workers will be there to advocate and advise service users on how to apply for these benefits. According to Thompson (2005) poverty leads to other problems such as poor mental health and social exclusion. Social workers support these service users by sign posting for counselling, rehabilitation and psychotherapy. Liberalism as an ideology offers an explanation of how social problems are constructed and how families and individuals are conceptualised within this framework. Thompson, (2005) suggested that problems are constructed by society.

Adams, (2002) state that as social workers we need to keep up to date with all policy changes so that we can advise service users accordingly. He emphasises that social workers should be proactive by reading informative newspapers and social work journals. Brechnin (2000) cited in Adams (2002) also state that it is vital for practitioners to grasp the policy context of the cases they deal with and thereby improve how they deal with service users complexities. Critical understanding of policies concerning children and families may help social workers improve practice. Social workers need to assess and identify the needs of a service user group for example people with disabilities and find out as much information as they can through research on how they can assist and empower service users.

The question for social workers is do we challenge a belief or ideology which we think does not fit in with social work values for example Conservatism. On the other hand, we enter into another debate of social workers as agents of the state so whichever government is in power, social workers as agents of state would have to follow their beliefs. We need to be aware of the current government beliefs, and its influence on policies so that we are equipped to advise service users on services available. To conclude, the practice of social work in modern liberal society rests on liberal principles. By locating the connections between social work and Liberalism ideology, we have seen how practical social knowledge is influenced by liberal philosophical assumptions.

These central tenets of Liberalism are liberty, tolerance, and a free-market economy. These core beliefs affect all areas of social life, including social work. The tensions that permeate the practices of liberal governments are present in the field of social work and valuable indicators of the complexity of the issues social workers face. Crucially, they are open to reform. There are deep social problems in liberal society such as poverty, inequality, alienation. What we can learn from these problems is that if Liberalism will succeed in its aspirations it needs to expand its scope to include more social and corporate responsibility, and a greater understanding of community.

Adams, R. (2002), Social Policy for Social work, Basingstoke: Palgrave Alasdair. D. M. (1981), After Virtue , 2nd edn, London: Duckworth. Bellamy, R. (1992), Liberalism and modern society Cambridge: Polity press. Frazer, E. and Lacey, N. (1993) The Politics of community, Hertfordshire: Harvester Wheatsheaf. Freeden, M. (2003), Ideology: A very short Introduction, Oxford: Oxford University Press Heywood, A. (2007) Political Ideologies an introduction, 4th edn, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. Hills, J. and Stewart, K. (2005), A More Equal Society, Bristol: Policy press Hobbes, T. (1985) Leviathan , London: Penguin Classics.

Leach, R. (2002), Political Ideology in Britain, Basingstoke: Palgrave Mullaly, B. (2007), The New Structural Social work: Ideology, Theory, Practice, (3rd edn), USA: Oxford University Press Ramsay, M (1997) What’s wrong with Liberalism London: Leicester University Press. Rousseau, J.J. (1968) The Social Contract, London: Penguin books. Rawls, J (1999), A Theory of Justice, Oxford: Open University Press. Thompson, N. (2005), Understanding Social Work: Preparing for practice, (2nd edn), Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan. Williams, A. (1998) UK Government and Politics, Oxford: Heinemann Wilson, K et al, (2008) Social Work: An Introduction to contemporary practice, Harlow: Pearson Education Limited

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Political Ideologies Essay

Political Ideology Essay

Political Ideology Essay.

Upon entering my first semester at Southern Nazarene University I could not have told you my political ideology. I knew what my opinions, observations, expectations, and ideals were, but did not know the proper ideology that would define them. Through several courses that I have taken, I have become more informed as to the role that I would like to see the government take throughout society as a whole and in the economy. Upon reading the section of ideology in American Government and Politics Today: the Essentials I learned that the correct term for my ideology is right-wing Conservatism.

I would like to see the government take action if necessary in the economy, yet let capitalism and the economy regulate itself if possible. In regards to the values that the government should uphold I would like to see strong regulations against moral issues such as abortion, pornography, and homosexuality. Upon taking the “Worlds smallest Political quiz” online, the website told me that I was a Centrist.

A Centrist is a person who favors selective political involvement and practical solutions to modern problems.

A Centrist tends to keep an open mind on new issues and prefers capitalism to work out economic problems if at all possible. Although I was a centrist I was on the boarder line of being a right wing conservative who would like to see a capitalistic society and little government intervention. The next quiz was an ideology quiz. This quiz told me that I also tended towards the conservative side. I apparently also would like to see order in society instead of equality. These two tests showed similar results in that both said I was more closely related to a conservative than a liberal.

The “Worlds smallest Political Quiz” showed the national results and percentages of those who have previously taken the test. The majority of people who take the quiz, 37. 7% are liberals. The second most popular grouping is Centrist at 29 %. The ideology quiz stated that the average of all those who take this quiz are liberal as well. I didn’t feel that the questions in the quizzes favored one side, liberal or conservative, more than the other.

After reading information about the two different classifications and taking these quizzes I do believe that they are accurate about my views and feelings towards government intervention and planned versus free economies. Hopefully people in the world are strong enough today to realize what opinions they have and what they believe is right or wrong without being classified bye a name. I would bet that some of the public chooses one side or the other based on what those before them have done. However, for myself whether I am conservative or liberal I will stick to my opinions and beliefs and people can call me what they wish.

Political Ideology Essay

How Successful Was the Quiet Revolution Essay

How Successful Was the Quiet Revolution Essay.

Freedom of speech and press, equality before the law, right to property and security, and the separation of Church and State. All of these things we take for granted as our fundamental rights but until the Quiet Revolution, these concepts were rare in most nations. The English-French relations have not always been easy. Each is always arguing and accusing the other of wrong doings. All this hatred and differences started in the past, and this Quiet revolution, right after a new Liberal government led by Jean Lesage came in 1960.

This was the beginning of the Quiet Revolution. Lesage had an excellent team of cabinet ministers which included Rene Levesque.

The Liberals promised to do two things during the Quiet Revolution; one was to improve economic and social standards for the people of Quebec, and the other was to win greater respect and recognition for all the French people of Canada. The Liberals started a program to take control of hydro-electric power companies.

French-Canadian engineers from all over Canada returned to Quebec to work on the project. Slogans during these times were “we can do it” and “masters in our own homes”. The government also started to replace programs the Church previously ran, which included hospital insurance, pension schemes and the beginning of Medicare.

For these programs, the Quebec Liberals had to struggle with Ottawa for a larger share of the tax dollars. One of the greatest reforms was the modernization of the entire school system. The Church used to own the schools of Quebec. Most of the teachers were Priests, Nuns and Brothers. They provided a good education but Quebec needed more in business and technology. Lesage wanted a government-run school system that would provide Quebec with people in engineering, science, business and trade. However much it may be challenged today in its assumptions and contributions, the Quiet Revolution was a high point of Quebec History. It was a fantastic time to be young, to have ideas and ideals, to be alive, to wish to do things, to want to improve the world, to be a Québécois.

How Successful Was the Quiet Revolution Essay

The Scientific Revolution on the Enlightenment Era Essay

The Scientific Revolution on the Enlightenment Era Essay.

The scientific revolution started in the late in the late 1600’s and was followed by the enlightenment era. The scientific revolution scientists challenged the church’s teachings and proved them wrong in many ways. That made people open their eyes and start to question all of their leaders including those who believed in divine right. With that said, the enlightenment eera couldn’t have happened without the scientific revolution happening before because the scientists of the scientific revolution inspired the enlightenment philosophers, the scientists of the scientific revolution also made the philosophers of the enlightenment think differently and question their rulers, and lastly, new inventions created during the scientific revolution helped spread the ideas of the enlightenment philosophers.

The scientific revolution scientists inspired the philosophers of the enlightenment era. An example of this happening is in the beliefs of John Locke.

John Locke said in his writing “Essay Concerning Human Understanding” that he believed everyone is born Tabula Rasa. People are born neither good nor evil.

He said “Let us then suppose the mind to be, as we say, white paper void of all characters, without any ideas. How comes it to be furnished? Whence comes it by that vast store which the busy and boundless fancy of man has painted on it with an almost endless variety? Whence has it all the materials of reason and knowledge? To this I answer, in one word, from experience” (Locke, 26). In that quote, Locke explains that people become good or evil by what they are exposed to in life. This made him believe that the majority of people in the world are good and that is why he started advocating for a democracy instead of an absolute monarchy. Hobbes on the other hand, believed that everyone is born evil and selfish. That let him to advocate for an absolute monarchy. Both men started with a hypothesis; and although they were not able to test their hypotheses and prove their statements, they used their minds to come to a conclusion.

The scientists also made hypotheses and when something didn’t go as expected, they would try to come to a conclusion and a reason why what happened, happened. The scientific revolution scientists also made the enlightenment philosophers think differently. Before the scientific revolution, everyone went along with what they were told by the church and it was a sin to question them. But scientists started to and started to test their thoughts and proved the church wrong on many things. For example, Nicolas Copernicus came up with the idea that the galaxy isn’t geocentric, but heliocentric. Later, Galileo Galilei proved Copernicus correct and the church wrong. This made people start to realize that not everything they were taught is necessarily true. That made them question their monarchs and how they were ruled.

This was the building blocks of democracy. People started wanting a say in laws, how they were ruled, and who they were ruled by. The scientist’s rise against the church’s teachings made others more confident in themselves and made them challenge their monarchs. Most famous of them all is John Locke. Locke advocated for a democracy. He believed that the people being ruled should give up some of their natural rights in order to receive something in return from their government. This was stated in his work Two Treatises of Government. The enlightenment wouldn’t have been as successful without the help of different inventions created during the scientific revolution.

These inventions helped spread the ideas of the philosophers during the enlightenment era. Inventions like the Fourdrinier Machine created by Louis Robert in 1798, help the publishing process easier and made printing smoother (Paperhall n.d.). The First dictionary was published in 1759 by Samuel Johnson (Park 2009). This helped the readers and writers finally have a common ground and a set way to spell words and a set definition for them.

Both of these inventions were created during the scientific revolution and both of them helped improve the ideas of the enlightenment’s philosophers spread and be understood. In conclusion, there are many things that happened during the scientific revolution that without, would have made the enlightenment era unsuccessful. From the inspiration from the scientific revolution, to the change of the thought process, to the tools used to spread the ideas of the enlightenment philosophers. Everything was crucial, and without them, it would have been very hard to continue with the enlightenment.

Locke, John. An Essay Concerning Human Understanding. 1689.
Locke, John. Two Treatises of Government. 1689.
Paper Hall. http://www.paperhall.org/info/glossary.html (accessed 12 19,
2012). Park, Patricia. http://people.lis.illinois.edu. Febuary 9, 2009. http://people.lis.illinois.edu/~chip/projects/timeline/1755park.htm (accessed December 19, 2012).

The Scientific Revolution on the Enlightenment Era Essay