A Theoretical Exploration Of Authoritarianism, Ideology And Generativity: No Child Left Behind And The Runaway And Homeless Youth Act

by Karno, Donna

Abstract (Summary)
The role ideology plays in human activity has undergone a resurgence of interest (Jost, 2006; Rudolph, and Evans, 2005; Van Hiel, Mervielde, and De Fruyt, 2004) after lying dormant for many years. Following the destructiveness of World War II, the Frankfurt School and a group identified as End of Ideology emerged analyzing the role of ideology. The Frankfurt School (Adorno, Frenkel-Brunswick, Levinson, and Sanford, 1950) approached ideology by analyzing the possibility of an authoritarian personality. The End of Ideology group concluded that ideology had discontinued its importance in the post War West (Bell, 1960; Lipset, 1960). Both of these views fall short because stronger connection needs to be made between individual and community in understanding ideology's power and implications. Ideology is a dynamic instrument that is used to guide behavior and achieve individual and community goals. Through the use of anxiety and fear, ideology easily becomes a tool utilized for authoritarian goals by groups seeking to either expand or maintain power. The theoretical framework created for the examination of the relationship between ideology and authoritarianism combines the Pragmatic Instrumentalism of John Dewey (1938) who wrote extensively on the necessity for examining a real (existential) problem; the work of Erik Erikson (1968) who analyzed ideology as the other side of the center of his theory - identity within a social, cultural, historical perspective; and Uri Bronfenbrenner (1977) who provides an ecological model that emphasizes the interconnectedness of environments. By integrating these three theorists and using the case studies of No Child Left Behind (NCLB) and the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act (RHYA), the possibility will be explored that ideology permits policies to develop which fail to address the true problem, leading to a concentration on observable symptoms. The potential to move away from the authoritarian use of ideology is investigated through Erikson's ideas on generativity. With generativity, Erikson began to move beyond traditional psychology and into broader paradigms. Generativity is expressed through social institutions and in social contexts by adults through intergenerational transfer (de St. Aubin, McAdams, and Kim, 2004). Humans are not isolates, but rather social beings in which relatedness to the world is of primary importance.
Bibliographical Information:


School:The Ohio State University

School Location:USA - Ohio

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:ideology authoritarianism nclb rhya


Date of Publication:01/01/2008

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