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Interpellation according to Althusser is a hailing by social ideologies that form individuals into subjects by forcing social identities upon them This primarily occurs through Ideological State Apparatuses ISA including the family education and mass media It is through these ISAs that people are given both a sense of identity and an understanding of reality Ideology for Althusser represents the imaginary relationship of individuals to their real conditions of existence cited in Stevenson 1995 37 Ideology transforms human beings into subjects leading them to see themselves as self-determining agents when they are in fact shaped by ideological processes This ideology comes almost exclusively from Ideological State Apparatuses These are institutions that according to Althusser interpellate individuals into either the bourgeoisie ruling class or the proletariat Ideology acts or functions in such a way that it recruits subjects among the individuals it recruits them all or transforms the individuals into subjects it transforms them all by that very precise operation which I have called interpellation or hailing and which can be imagined along the lines of the most commonplace everyday police or other hailing Hey you there Althusser Ideology and ideological state apparatuses 1971 The fact that we do not recognise this as being ideological shows the power of ideology It is so ingrained in us that we cannot see it unless we are knowledgeable about it Althusser emphasizes that the process of interpellation allows the existing power structure of capitalist society to maintain its domination over the general population without resorting to violence or force Interpellation occurs in subtle ways through the workings of what Althusser calls Ideological State Apparatuses including official culture and such specific institutions as churches and schools though it is constantly backed up by the physical force represented by the Repressive State Apparatus of the police and the military In Tillie Olsens short fiction story I Stand Here Ironing Ideological State Apparatuses influence the social standings of
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