Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Adrienne Martin

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This paper is a critique on ideology critique. In this paper, I argue that, even though ideology critique is often conceived as the means to unmask oppressive relations, it can also mask and further perpetuate those relations. First, I introduce the concept of discourse by discussing its implications for social activities. Then, I draw a parallel between discourse and games to offer a way of accounting for the mechanism of discourse–how it is structured and how it may be changed. With this understanding of discourse, I analyze some case studies of ideology critique, which I identify as a type of discourse. In those case studies, I demonstrate how an ideology critique can assume problematic rules, so that it no longer plays a liberation game but an oppression game. I propose some ways to avoid constructing an oppressive ideology critique and anticipate some possible objections. In the end, I show how this lesson learned from ideology critique can be applied to self-examination and raise some interesting questions for further exploration.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.