Indoctrination is the process of
ideas, attitudes, cognitive strategies or a professional methodology. It is often distinguished from educationby the fact that the indoctrinated person is expected not to question or critically examine the doctrinethey have learned. As such it is used pejoratively. Instruction in the basic principles of science, in particular, can not properly be called indoctrination, in the sense that the fundamental principals of science call for critical self-evaluation and skeptical scrutiny of one's own ideas.
Indoctrination refers to a wide range of different activities, and finding a single definition is problematic. In the fields of
psychology, sociologyand educational research, more precise terms are often preferred, including (but not limited to): socialization, propaganda, manipulation, and brainwashing.
education, distinguishing (undesirable) "indoctrination" from the (acceptable) teaching of values is particularly problematic.
Religious indoctrinationrefers to customary rites of passage for the indoctrination of persons into a particular religion and its extended community.
Most religious groups instruct new members in the principles of the religion; this is usually not referred to as indoctrination, because of the negative connotations the word has acquired.
Mystery religions require a period of indoctrination before granting access to esotericknowledge. (c.f. Information security)
The initial psychological preparation of soldiers during training is referred to (non-pejoratively) as indoctrination. See
In the field of information security, indoctrination is the initial briefing and instructions given before a person is granted access to secret information. [The
National Industrial Security Program Operating Manualdefines indoctrination as "the initial security instructions/briefing given a person prior to granting access to classified information."]
Noam Chomskyremarks, "For those who stubbornly seek freedom, there can be no more urgent task than to come to understand the mechanisms and practices of indoctrination. These are easy to perceive in the totalitarian societies, much less so in the system of ' brainwashingunder freedom' to which we are subjected and which all too often we serve as willing or unwitting instruments." [cite web
last = Chomsky
first = Noam
authorlink = Noam Chomsky
title = Propdaganda, American Style
url = http://www.zpub.com/un/chomsky.html
accessdate = 2007-06-29 ]
Robert Jay Liftonargues [cite book
last = Lifton
first = Robert Jay
authorlink = Robert Jay Lifton
Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism: A Study of "Brainwashing" in China
publisher = University of North Carolina Press
date = 1989
pages = 524
isbn = 0-8078-4253-2 ] that the objective of phrases or slogans like "blood for oil," or "cut and run," is not to continue reflective conversations but to replace them with emotionally appealing phrases. This technique is called the
* [http://www.studentsforacademicfreedom.org/ Students for Academic Freedom]
* [http://www.atheistfoundation.org.au/indoctrination.htm Overcoming Religious Indoctrination] Atheist Foundation of Australia Inc
* [http://www.vusst.hr/ENCYCLOPAEDIA/indoctrination.htm Habermas and the Problem of Indoctrination] Encyclopedia of Philosophy of Education
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