hegemony

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hegemony

(hĭjĕm`ənē, hē–, hĕj`əmō'nē, hĕg`ə–), [Gr.,=leadership], dominance, originally of one Greek city-state over others, the term has been extended to refer to the dominance of one nation over others, and, following GramsciGramsci, Antonio
, 1891–1937, Italian political leader and theoretician. Originally a member of the Socialist party and a cofounder (1919) of the left-wing paper L'Ordine Nuovo, Gramsci helped to establish (1921) the Italian Communist party.
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, of one class over others. Conflict over hegemony fills history from the war between Athens and Sparta to the Napoleonic wars, World Wars I and II, and the Cold War. Gramsci's use of the concept extends it beyond international relations to class structure and even to culture.

Bibliography

See K. J. Holsti, The Dividing Discipline (1985).

hegemony

  1. the power exercised by one social group over another.
  2. the ideological/cultural domination of one class by another, achieved by ‘engineering consensus’ through controlling the content of cultural forms and major institutions.
In sense 2 , the term is derived from the work of GRAMSCI (1971), an Italian Marxist jailed by the fascists in the 1920s. He used the term to criticize the narrowness of approaches which focused only on the repressive potential of the capitalist state. Gramsci argued that the domination of ideas in the major institutions of capitalist society, including the Roman Catholic Church, the legal system, the education system, the mass communications media, etc, promoted the acceptance of ideas and beliefs which benefited the RULING CLASS. Gramsci compared civil society to a powerful system of ‘fortresses and earthworks’ standing behind the state. As a result, the problem of cultural hegemony was crucial to understanding the survival of capitalism. Gramsci concluded that before winning power the working class would have to undermine the hegemony of the ruling class by developing its own alternative hegemony. As well as exercising leadership, this required a cultural and ideological struggle in order to create a new socialist ‘common sense’, and thus change the way people think and behave. It followed, therefore, that a subordinate and oppressed class, in addition to organizing to resist physical coercion and repression, had to develop a systematic refutation of ruling ideas. In this sense, of political and theoretical struggle, the idea of hegemony, and often the term itself, was already established and in common use, for example in the Russian Marxist movements (see Anderson, 1977).

Where Gramsci most influenced later work was in shifting the emphasis from ‘counter-hegemony’ as a political necessity for subordinated groups, to hegemony as a factor in stabilizing an existing power structure. In a general sense, there is nothing new in this for sociologists. Weber, for example, writing more than a decade before Gramsci, had emphasized that the crude exercise of force was too unstable a method of guaranteeing the continuance of a system. A stable power system also needed a socially accepted principle of legitimation (see LEGITIMATE AUTHORITY). What distinguished Gramsci's contribution, and has influenced sociology in the last two decades, is the encouragement to investigate the ways in which specific institutions operated in the social reproduction of power relations and to examine wider theoretical issues in understanding belief structures, IDEOLOGY, etc. In the UK, the work of the Birmingham University Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies (CCCS) (see CULTURAL STUDIES) was one important influence in the analysis and use of the concept. In recent years, there have been many studies which have used it in relation to issues such as working-class youth subcultures, the production of television news, and the development of state education.

hegemony

ascendancy or domination of one power or state within a league, confederation, etc., or of one social class over others
References in periodicals archive ?
A hegemonic system, once it is entrenched, may seem immovable.
The question, then, is what values, beliefs and social constructs are most consistent with hegemonic masculinity and the male selves that are identified with it?
Working-class men have traditionally had access to hegemonic masculinities based on domination over women, sexual prowess, physical power and athleticism as a sort of "protest masculinity" (Connell & Messerscmidt, 847) against the middle-class norm of education and white-collar careers.
The calls to the army, or what the politicians called "the heart of the hegemonic state" is an old tradition based on the notion that the army can rebuild the state if it suffered rifts.
In particular, security has been guaranteed directly through Washington, DC military expertise and funds, and indirectly by the intervention of UN, IMF and other hegemonic agencies.
Because of the harmful effects of hegemonic masculinity on boys and girls, some scholars have insisted that we begin to cultivate non-hegemonic masculinities (Pollack, 1998; Kimmel, 2006).
The hegemonic man is an ideal of manhood that tries to set the norm by which all men will tacitly agree to be judged.
Connell and Messerschmidt highlight that while hegemonic masculinity is not normal, and may only be applicable to a small number of men, it is normative (2005, 832).
The film specifically targets how hegemonic masculinity and the mythic imagined narratives about the expansion into the so-called western frontier can infiltrate and permeate one's engagement with contingency.
ISLAMABAD, December 31, 2009 (Frontier Star): Pakistan has said that India's army chief Gen Kappor's statement betrays a hostile intent as well as a hegemonic and jingoistic mindset Commenting on the statement made by Indian Army Chief General Deepak Kapoor that Indian army was ready to face Pakistan and China at the same time, the Spokesman said that such statements betray a hostile intent as well as a hegemonic and jingoistic mindset which is quite out of step with the realities of our time.
Overall, Conway sees Paul's Christology as akin to imperial apotheosis traditions and, therefore, she does not read the Pauline traditions as countercultural or as subverting hegemonic masculine ideology.
The study of White students who attend a predominantly racial and ethnic minority low-income, urban school enables Morris to challenge hegemonic notions of Whiteness, a continual process which marginalizes non-Whites and denigrates White people who do not fit the hegemonic ideal, and reveals the ways in which White students are nonetheless advantaged by the school's racialized institutional organization.