MIT 2200: Hegemony Lecture

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Western University
Media, Information and Technoculture
Media, Information and Technoculture 2200F/G
Kane Faucher

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 - 1891 - 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 change - 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
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