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Throughout its history, “ideology” (the concept and theory) served as social science's foil, an opposing standard against which it defined its own knowledge-as-truth. As social science since mid-century has undergone changes in its idea of itself and its methods of inquiry, the theory of ideology has served as register, visably recording these changes. Works by the structuralists and poststructuralists, especially Althusser and Foucault, forced upon social theorists a profound rethinking of power and its operations and moved “ideology” away from the theory of false consciousness towards a view of ideology as cultural practice. For some, ideology theory is obsolete (due to its classical roots as “false consciousness”) or redundant (due to its links to “culture”). Despite the merits of these arguments, a provisional argument on behalf of ideology theory is offered.