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Lecture 6

SOCI 1F90 Lecture 6: SOCI1F90LectureOct6th

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Department
Sociology
Course Code
SOCI 1F90
Professor
Nancy Cook
Lecture
6

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Modern Social Theory
Antonio Gramsci
1891-1937
Founded the Communist party of Italy
Imprisoned by Mussolini (Fascist) in 1926
Contemplating Marx’s Capital
Wrote Selections from the Prison Notebooks
Accepted Marx’s analysis of class inequalities under Capitalism
Disagreed with how Capitalists maintain power
Marx thought Capitalist use force/coercion to dominate working class, (Police, Military)
Gramsci believed that more often they Manipulated Ideas as a Subtle form of Control
Forms of Class Control
Domination
Physical force and coercion to enforce class hierarchy
Hegemony
Control and Consent of Ideas; The working class has to believe/consent to the
ideas as well
Capitalist class controls ideas as it controls social institutions
Ideological Control: Dominant ideas reflect capitalist interests, mask social
inequalities
No Regime can rule using force alone
Stability Requires Consent of the Ruled
Hegemony of Capitalists ideas only works when the working class agrees with
them,
e.g. Capitalism is the best economic system and will continuously be
correlated with freedom and democracy
Hegemony only works if the working class agrees
Gaining Consent
Social Institutions (schools, media, religion) disseminate and legitimate ideas
Ideas are Internalised by the Masses
Come to appear as common sense- taken for granted- become hegemonic
Examples
Capitalism
Gender and Sexual Hegemony
Heterosexual Hegemony
When Ideas become so natural and normal they become hegemonic and that we don't
question them and are consenting to them
We don't even realize when this ideals became the norm of society
Notions of masculinity and femininity are enforced by these hegemonic ideals which are
so ingrained into our society, we start to believe them to be accepted gender roles/
characteristics
These ideals are disseminated very often through mass media, and through very subtle
means become the fabric of society
Michel Foucault
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