Date of Award

Spring 2015

Document Type


Degree Name

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Historical & Political Studies; College of Arts & Sciences

First Advisor

Dr. Amy Widestrom


The purpose of this research project is to assess and evaluate the role of ideology in fostering an individual’s political evaluations of cultural content such as media and literary works. In this paper, I explore the current debate about how ideologies are formed, how ideologies are expressed, and how ideologies influence or shape our political evaluations of content. First I approach the formation of ideology by introducing readers to cultural theory, and its' emphasis on how group versus grid fosters ideology. I then explore how ideologies are expressed by introducing readers to the politics of assent of framework. Next, using Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, I present a case study involving multiple scholarly ideological interpretations of the same story using common Anglo-American ideological frameworks such as Classical Liberalism, Classical Republicanism, and Radicalism. Lastly, I employ Marxist critical theory and critical discourse analysis to perform my own analysis of the story that subscribes to Marxist ideology. By approaching the story from an alternative ideological foundation, I demonstrate how our existing ideological beliefs are the primary contributors to our political evaluation of cultural content.