Ideological Apparatuses & Interpellation

PART 2 of Constructing a Party

As the diagram shows, the Party will have to follow a process in order to propagate its ideology.

In this conceptual framework, ideological apparatuses as conceived by Althusser become useful. These provide the tools by which the Party can inculcate the public with its message.

It is important to draw attention to the process of interpellation. This is the process that primes the public with the Party’s ideology, thus ensuring What The Subject Wants and What The Party Wants are the same. By exerting influence over various ideological apparatuses, the Party ensures voters recognize their needs being met by the Party’s ideology.

…Althusser introduces the concept of interpellation, otherwise known as “hailing.” Ideologies “call out” or “hail” people and offer a particular identity, which they accept as “natural” or “obvious.” With this concept of interpellation, Althusser implies that there is no inherent meaning in the individual. There are no individuals: only subjects, who come into being when they are hailed or interpellated by ideology. Instead, the subject exists only as he or she is recognized in a specific way that has a social structure as its referent. The subject is thus preceded by social forces, or “always-already interpellated.”


  • We have established that the Party and its supporters must share an ideology.
  • As far as the Party is concerned, potential voters are Subjects who can be interpellated with its ideology.
  • For this process to happen, the Party must use ideological apparatuses as a core part of its communication strategy.
  • These apparatuses should include the full gamut of popular and elite culture — from mainstream media to influential personalities.

We shall explore the idea of the “Movement” in the next blog post.

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