How to Do Ideological Criticism (according to Foss)
“The primary goal of the ideological critic is to discover and make visible the dominant ideology or ideologies embedded in an artifact and ideologies that are being muted in it” (Foss, p. 295-296).
- Step 1: Formulate RQs
- What is the ideology embodied in this artifact?
- What are the implication of this ideology?
- What are the alternative ideologies not expressed?
- Are there aspects of the artifact that support emancipation? Etc.
- Step 2: Select Unit of Analysis
- What specific aspect(s) of the artifact/text will you focus on?
- Step 3: Analyzing the Artifact
- Identification of Nature of Ideology
- What does the artifact ask the audience to believe, understand, feel or think about?
- What are the arguments made in the artifact?
- What is seen as good or valued?
- What ideologies are hidden?
- Identification of Interests Included
- What is the power structure and what groups are supported?
- Identification of Strategies in Support of Ideology
- How does the rhetoric legitimize the ideology and interests of some groups over others?
- How exactly is the dominant ideology supported?
- How exactly are alternative ideologies hidden?
Source: Rhetorical Criticism: Exploration and Practice
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