Ideologies affect the formulation of social policies. Understanding their features, functions, and implications in the political and social scenes is crucial in examining whether they are of significance or are empty thoughts expressed without any form of practical activity. This paper will analyze some ideological perspectives critically and examine the role they play provision of social welfare and delivery. Ideologies have some common features. All ideologies make claims that they reflect the truth, as it is real life. In addition, ideologies present a partial view of things. The goals of these ideologies seek to address the needs of the self and rarely the entire society. Ideologists rarely adjust their views and thoughts to match the changing times. Instead of being dynamic enough to address the needs of the emerging society, ideologies are likely to hold onto previous ideas for longer periods. Research shows that an ideology requires totalitarianism for it to reach its goals. Collectivism and Individualism Collectivist and individualist ideologies have dominated the thinking of many individuals in society. Collectivism is an ideology that supports the existence of welfare. According to the thoughts of collectivists, the goals of a society, nation of group deserve the first priority (Jeffery, 2011:86). Collectivists argue that there should be equity in society. The collectivist ideology suggests that the society should bear responsibility for each individual in society. Implication of this ideology to the state is that it should ensure that all individuals have equal opportunities. Collectivists advocate for public provision. This implies the existence of policies geared towards this. Collectivists argue that the social welfare deserves institutionalization. According to this school of thought, the collective that may denote tribe, race or state must have guidelines and rules that help them coexist peacefully. The collectivist thinking has its limits. It is virtually impossible to attain uniformity in a society (Fitzpatrick, 2011:28). Achieving equality in society has proven to be difficult over time and inequality has been prevailing in society. Collective ideologists insist on the involvement of state in improving the welfare of all individuals. The state should contribute at a higher level. Collective ideologies include communism and socialism. Collectivism targets to achieve fairness. On the other hand, individualism advocates on the freedom of the individual to autonomously on his or her actions. Concerning equality, individualists believe in the equality of opportunity. Individualists advocate for minimal sate activity in regulation of individual activity. Individualistic ideologies include liberalism and capitalism. Individual action has power vested in it that results to agency. Agency denotes the potential of an individual to have autonomy over the choices made. There are factors of individualistic ideologies that enhance the existence of agency. These include the higher freedom of choice advocated by individualists. In addition, agency increases with increasing freedom of choice in the market. Individualistic ideologies have a greater will that drives their action and this increases agency as well. Deacon and Mann raise their criticism against issues of agency and structure. They highlight the main
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