A body of ideas reflecting the social needs and aspirations of an individual, a group, a class, or a culture; examples are ethnocentrism and class consciousness. A set of doctrines, beliefs, or ideals that form the basis of a political, economic, or other system which attempts to put experience of the world into some order. The result, particularly in Marxist thought, is a distortion of reality to maintain authority over it. Various applications of this sense of the word can be found in feminism and other types of critical activity, often very politically oriented. Others use the term with less political load, meaning one type of symbolic system among others, like art, religion, and science.Also see existentialism, formalism, humanism, multiculturalism, and other isms.