Brym (2014) talks about an ideology as a collection of ideas that are adopted by an individual or a group of persons with the goal of explaining reality in society. From a sociological perspective, it is often difficult to understand how ideologies play a role in society since research involves statistics that are not always reliable, and it often generalizes many areas, making an unclear reflection of reality. In his book, Modern Society, Brym (2014) argues that some ideologies could be based upon verifiable reality through “careful scientific observation of the world” (Brym 12), while others could only be discussed on the “basis of personal emotions, experience and visions of the ideal society” (Brym 12). Ideologies play quite a useful role in different contexts in modern society, where they can be applied to give insights into difficult realities or to distort them. When the majority of people in society form an ideology based on personal values, the social system is affected in many aspects like the collection of taxes, social services, healthcare, technology innovation, education, and regulations of business” (Brym 19). In social macrostructures, ideologies explain ideas that could drive politics and economies of different nations across the world. Modern society is faced by various challenges such as new issues on scientific research, health, technology, and social media where human achievement has come a far way, but still leaves gray areas that have unpredictable effects in the long run. Local and international, ideologies are being used by an educated group of people to help citizens view life from an optimistic perspective and achieve better lives in the future. This paper aims at highlighting the importance of personal ideologies in the modern world.Conservatism is an ideology that emphasizes the importance of individuals and social institutions refusing changes or accepting them in a gradual manner (Brym 2014). Arguably, this system of ideas is important in modern society since it helps persons and institutions to analyze changes and accept them slowly. When people hold on to this ideology, it prevents society from the negative impacts that could be associated with the sudden adoption of new practices or values. For example, it would be practical for organizations to experiment new practices and ideas before they could be adopted by all stakeholders (Brym, 2014). In today’s society it is often those that have lived longer, or have fear of the unknown changes, that do not wish to make changes and prefer to hold on to what they are familiar with and trust, they may have a stronger foundation of values and need to experience consequences or benefits of decisions at a slower pace.
Persons that value equal opportunities regardless of any social orientation, for example, social orientation, religion, gender, and race have benefited from the concept of liberalism, which seeks to empower individuals. In modern society, this has played a huge role in establishing equality between males and females (Brym 2014). The collection of ideas within this framework is based on laws that are primarily defined and enforced by the government. This ideology causes all to benefit in that it focuses on making universal laws that protect all citizens in having equal right and responsibilities (Brym 2014). Economic liberalism is an ideology that is being applied to improve the procedures for making decisions that would result in equal economic benefits for all in society (Brym, 2014). It is anticipated that those in politics would argue against this ideology because it would deny them political freedom and control over the population.
Capitalism enables individuals to achieve the maximum economic and social benefits independently. When personal ideologies include valuing individualism they want to stand out from society and bring forth their talents, contributions, abilities to succeed and then have the luxury to reap the benefits that they achieved. With this ideology, one strives to his success rather than of the whole. In modern society everyone that has the advantage of being financially well off, can get a good education, and succeed in life. “Modern society values, such as freedom, diversity of opinion and the promotion of minority and national identities are strong” (Brym 104). The ideology is an important aspect for achieving unique economic growth trends, however, most often, at the expense of the less privileged in the community that are struggling to get up on their feet. This is in contrast to the ideology of communism that argues that every individual needs to contribute to the production to receive benefits. This has helped workers to achieve freedom at the workplace and end exploitative regimes (Brym, 2014). In today’s society, many people need motivation through competition to achieve success and give their best efforts in their career. These people might argue that it is impossible to achieve a higher standard of living if they are tied up to the community through communism.
Most importantly, ideologies play a role in society through social media, the internet, or news. Thoughts, ideas, messages can be sent across the world instantly. With globalization, people are less obliged to accept cultures and values in which they are born, and are free to combine different views into their life (Brym 2014) This forces society to accept a mixture of all perspectives from all ethical, racial, and religious backgrounds.
As explained in this paper, it is crucial for individuals in modern society to adopt an ideology or ideologies for achieving better outcomes in the future. Human social systems are supported by ideologies since persons live dependently. When in play each ideology has the potential to change the citizen’s values based on their experience. When individuals share values, they begin to influence those around them thus coming to an agreement and adopting communism, liberalism, capitalistic ideologies based on their ideal image of society and short-term and long-term goals.
- Brym, R. J. (2014). New Society (7th ed.). Conway, AR: Nelson Education, Ltd.