How ideology is like a park bench

A Reading Note

Ideology…is not just a matter of what I think about a situation; it is somehow inscribed in that situation itself. It is no good my reminding myself that I am opposed to racism as I sit down on a park bench marked “Whites Only”; by the act of sitting on it, I have supported and perpetuated racist ideology. The ideology, so to speak, is in the bench; not in my head.

Eagleton, Ideology, page 40

A lovely side benefit to this analogy is the solidification of ideology. In Eagleton’s hands, ideology becomes a heavy object of iron and wood. You don’t carry it with you so much as look for it when you need to rest.

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