Ideology does not just misrepresent the real nature of capitalist society - the relation of individuals to the realities is necessarily "imaginary distortion".
Social rituals [note the similarities with Durkheim - or Goffman!] in ideological apparatuses confirm this view that we are subjects with consciousness "of our own".
The ideology of assessment in educational systems says that individuals freely, and as an expression of their subjective "knowledge", "intelligence" or "quality" subject themselves ("submit" pieces of work) to the processes of grading.
In the last appended section, Althusser admits that his analysis is too "abstract", that the function of completing reproduction depends on a successful class struggle by the r.c.
A.s represent only the necessary forms of class struggle developed elsewhere [This restoration of class struggle might save Althuser from some of his critics who have accused him of "functionalism" etc -but he then leaves himself open to the charge of Hirst et al.
In their famous analysis of the Bond movie (see file) , Bennett and Woollacott argue that there is no point even in talking of a singular (ideological) Bond film, so varied are the readings of the individual 'formations' (not individuals) likely to be -- and the ideological codes, which had been so carefully analysed in the earlier work only existed, in effect, if they were read.
Despite these problems, 'interpellation' or 'positioning' approaches remain in much critical work in Cultural Studies, often accompanied with warnings about their assumptions.
Hall et al (1978) try to show that the mass media are genuinely independent and critical to some extent, yet those very professional values can still preserve overall ideological frameworks nonetheless ( see )(and for a more general commentary see Harris (1992)).
Thompson's celebrated (1978) critique of Althusser pleads for an analysis of how ideologies actually get produced, with all their struggle, hesitation and ambiguity, before becoming safely installed in ISAs.
They might have the formal function of interpellation, but that did not entitle us to assume that this is what they actually did, or that they did this without contradiction.
Benton (1984) offers a clear account of the development of Althusserian marxism. It is a long and interesting story, but we can summarise the main developments in terms of problems with the interpellation model:
The most outstanding example is in the work on the Disney site, () in my view, which often cheerfully assumes that Disney parks do and must interpellate their visitors in a very straightforward way.
Every party by its nature tends to gain the official state legislature position, and essentially every party differs from other ones in its ideological core.
In the second half of the essay, Althusser argues there are places that can be found in the ISA that allow expression of the exploited class, but this expression is an illusion as they can only express themselves in terms of being subjects....
Here, Althusser is attempting to clarify the distinction between ideology and science, part of a major effort which led him into famous pieces like the one on 'the Generalities'.
Has Althusser simply forgotten about it in this essay, or has he offered any reasons for thinking activism is likely to be limited as a political strategy?