A term coined by the French Marxist Louis Althusser to describe the process by which an individual is addressed, or “called on,” by ideology to assume a certain identity. Critical to the success of interpellation is the degree to which an individual recognizes and identifies with the roles s/he is assigned by the dominant culture.
The ideological theorist Louse Althusser's term of the process by which we are "hailed" by our culture as certain kinds of individuals or subjects. We come to see ourselves in the way our culture wants us to see ourselves in the process of acknowledging that it is indeed we how are being hailed. TV commercials often act as clear attempts at interpellation. They say, for instance, "Hey, you, the person out there who worries about your body order, our deodorant will help you." If you agree that you need the deodorant - see yourself as a person who smells and worries about it - then you have been successfully hailed.
Interpellation is a concept first coined by Marxist philosopher Louis Althusser to describe the process by which ideology addresses the individual subject, thus effectively producing him as an effect. Henceforth, in agreement with Michel Foucault's theories, Althusser goes against the classical definition of the subject as cause and substance: in other words, the situation always precede the (individual or collective) subject. Interpellation specifically involves the moment and process of recognition of interaction with the ideology at hand.