Conceptual Structure and Social Change: The Ideological Architecture of Democratization

By Sara Schatz; Javier Jesús Gutiérrez-Rexach | Go to book overview

3

Ideological Systems, Dynamics, and Constraints

INTRODUCTION

In the previous chapter we have addressed some of the main issues and challenges that a cognitive theory of ideology faces. Our goal has been to defend the advantages of a broadly understood cognitive approach to ideology conceptualization and ideology formation. We have reviewed some of the most prominent theories that make theoretical claims, and have empirical predictions or analytic repercussions in the social realm, more specifically in the areas of the structural order of sociopolitical concepts, collective concepts, and group intentions from a cognitive or linguistic standpoint. Given the vastness and continuously evolving nature of the field of cognitive studies, we have only focused on a few major issues, and we have deliberately not addressed other problems and perspectives such as the interaction between culture and society, philosophical ramifications of cognition, intention and action, and so on.

The study of the interface between cognition and social action/decision becomes essential once it is accepted that regime development and change is mediated by ideological change. Changes in ideology tend to be mirrored, although not always in a one-to-one fashion, by changes in the socio-political structure of a system. These changes may be gradual or rapid, they may involve elites, masses, or both, and they may give rise to internal/external resistances and conflicts. In this respect ideology is one more component of the knowledge and belief systems of individuals and aggregations of individuals. These systems, as knowledge and belief

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Conceptual Structure and Social Change: The Ideological Architecture of Democratization
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Introduction vii
  • 1 - Categorization and Social Agents: the Case of Democratization 1
  • 2 - A Cognitive Model of Concepts and Ideology 35
  • Note 86
  • 3 - Ideological Systems, Dynamics, and Constraints 87
  • Notes 112
  • 4 - Mass Attitudes in the Transition to Electoral Democracy 113
  • 5 - Governing Elites, Counterelites, and the Struggle to Shape Mass Opinion 157
  • Conclusions 193
  • Bibliography 197
  • Index 217
  • About the Authors 221
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