Hegemony: A Moving Equilibrium
- Concept used to show how dominant forces socially reproduce the means of production, while
at the same time guaranteeing the means of production through coersion
- Hegemony: people think of it as a condition. Most common use that you’ll see in international
relations: US holds hegemony over various states that it sponsers in various parts of the world.
- Ideas are introduced into peoples minds which reproduce the means of production
- Antonio Gramsci
- Journalist, political agitator
- Arrested Mussolini in 1926 condemned to 20 years for political agitations
- Wrote the prison notebooks on scraps of paper
- died in jail at age of 46
- The working calss has to build alliances in order to win power
- Revolution doesn’t only happen through force, but through winning peoples hearts and minds
- by articulating their interests to your own
- If the base determines the superstructer, how to we account for cultural change?
- Social reproduction: The ideology of people goes to legitimize the modes of production
by the modes of ownership and rights of property
- “The ideas of the ruling class are the ruling ideas. The class which is the ruling material force of
society, is at the same time its ruling intellectual force. “ - Karl Marx
- Those who lack the means of production are subject to it.
- Gramsci wrestled with orthodox Marxist claims: If we are all determined by our class (dupes of
the system) then how does change ever occur?
- Cultural beliefs, ideas, practices, institutions are central to any process of political or economic
- A ruling group must have economic power and exercise moral and intellectual leadership
- Hegemony is a ruling classes (alliances) domination of subordinated classes through the
elaboration and penetration of ideology (ideas and assumptions) into their commen sense and
everyday practice; it is the systematic (but not necessarily deliberate) engineering of mass
consent to the established order.” - Todd Gitlin The WHole World Is Watching
- Ideology is the process through which people become conscious of their social position: the
shared ideas or beliefs which serve to justify the interests of dominant class” - Gi