Subject and Keywords:
The paper gives an analysis of the meaning of ideology and utopia in their interdependence as two components of the social imagination. The social imagination along with ideology and utopia as its two basic components will be presented from the perspective of contemporary hermeneutics, with the focus on Paul Ricoeur’s and Clifford Geertz’s theories, as the basis for the self-understanding of individuals and social groups. The presentation of Geertz’s and Ricoeur’s hermeneutical concepts of ideology will be preceded by an analysis of its first interpretation given by Karl Marx. Viewed from the hermeneutical perspective the social imagination as well as ideology and utopia have a symbolic structure. Thinking of ideology and utopia as functioning as the social imagination’s activity makes it possible to show the rules that govern the social imagination (social integration and disintegration processes), as well as to discuss social change in which the dialectic of ideology and utopia occupies the central place.