The Communication and Impact of Political Ideology
By: Reem Fakhoury and Alyssa Jimenez
In World Studies class, we have been focusing on political ideologies. We have been doing this by looking at government systems and propaganda. First, we went through readings on both ideologies and worked to understand these ideologies conceptually. We then examined some historical examples of governments driven by these political ideologies, particularly the German Nazis and the United States during World War II. We asked ourselves how citizens in each country were impacted by their governments’ ideology and how their lives were different and why.
Once we understood these ideologies, we then tried to understand how governments communicated their ideology. Part of this was learning about propaganda. We defined propaganda and discussed various strategies that propaganda uses to persuade citizens to do and believe certain things. Our teacher gave us a variety of pieces of propaganda and had us identify and analyze which ideology it was biased towards, either a Totalitarianism government or a Democratic government.
Once we had obtained the idea of what an ideology was and we were able to fully understand how bias works, Ms. Anderson had us create our own propaganda poster based upon our own ideologies. Going back to the definition of ideology, we first tried to define our own set of ideas, beliefs, and values. We then chose something that was extremely important to us to focus on for our poster. For example, one of our classmate’s posters supported LGBTQ and equality, while another student’s poster advocated for Freedom of Religion. It was interesting seeing what our classmates chose to focus on for their poster and how they tried to persuade people looking at the poster to believe what they believe. Even our homemade propaganda was powerful. This helped us understand how powerful and influential propaganda can be. Also, this helped us understand that we need to be informed and aware citizens so we can avoid falling into a trap and getting influenced by everything we hear and see.
Through this unit, students learned about various ideologies and how those ideologies are communicated. We also analyzed the impact that ideologies have on the mindsets of citizens, which may lead them to think, believe, and act in a certain way.