Media, Information and Technoculture 2200F/G Lecture Notes - Todd Gitlin, Prison Notebooks, Antonio Gramsci
DepartmentMedia, Information and Technoculture
Course CodeMIT 2200F/G
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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
-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” - Giddens
-Dominant class alliance tries to cement and unify disparate elements of society into a whole
view of the world
-This world view is embedded in dominant cultural products, institutions, practices
-Hegemony is based on a coherent conjunction or fit between a configuration of material
power, the prevalent collective image of world order (including certain norms) and a set of
institutions which administer the order with a certain semblance of universality (Cox)
-Hegemony is a process whereby: “a dominant class or alliance extends and expands its
economic mastery of society in such a way that it can transform and refashion its way of life, its
mores, its conceptualizations, its very form and level of culture and civilization in a direction
which favours the development and expansion of dominant social and productive system.
-Hegemony is never static
-the term describes a process: a ruling, hegemonic, alliance is always subject to
dislocation from below
-a hegemonic alliance is always the site of struggle; consent to rule has to be won over
and over again
-while small changes are common, real revolutionary ‘organic’ crises are rare.
-Society is made up of relations of force
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