1.What is a Repressive State Apparatus? Why does Althusser call it “repressive”? Can we explain his choice of words here? Give an example.
The repressive state apparatus refers to the police, courts, prisons, and military. When the police and their specialized auxiliary teams “cannot control the situation,” they will directly intervene as an additional amount of pressure to suppress them. It also refers to the heads of state and the government above all this and administrative agencies. Which is mainly legal violence that the government would choose to do when thighs are out of control.
- Let’s do the same for the Ideological State Apparatuses. What are they, how do they seem to work?
The ideological state apparatus is the real material basis on which the “political unconscious” depends, is the territory for institutionalized discipline and legalized “production” of individuals, and a set of seemingly mild but violent social control tools.
- Important: this question will appear on our exam: How are the Repressive and Ideological State Apparatuses different from each other? What is the difference between the two?
There is only one repressive state apparatus, but there are many ideological state apparatuses. And the unified repressive state apparatus is entirely in the public domain; on the contrary, most of the ideological state apparatuses, which are decentralized, are part of the private domain. Churches, parties, labor unions, families, certain schools, most newspapers, various cultural speculations, etc., are all private.
- Post an example of ideology. This could be a piece of writing, an image, video, pdf document, visual art, or music, a clip from a movie. Next to your example, specify if this is an example of repressive or ideological apparatuses at work.
This is a photo of Black people in jail. I want to use it as an example of ideology that shows racism causes the innocents to be forced to go to jail, which is also an ideological apparatus.