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false consciousness

noun
1.
a Marxist theory that people are unable to see things, especially exploitation, oppression, and social relations, as they really are; the hypothesized inability of the human mind to develop a sophisticated awareness of how it is developed and shaped by circumstances.
2.
any belief or view that prevents a person from being able to understand the true nature of a situation.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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