11/13/2012 7:12:00 PM
Notes Week 7 Anthro
Hegemony: set of beliefs/values that people accept as justifying the rule of
the dominant class
Gramsci meant the permeation throughout society of an entire system of
values, attitude, beliefs and morality that has the effect of supporting the
status quo of power relations.
Hegemony encourages society to accept the rule of the dominant class
(people believe this is good for them)
-For Marx and Gramsci, the state is controlled by the dominant class.
Gramsci believed that hegemony tended to prevent revolution. People
among the lower classes believed that the hegemonic system is in their own
Gramsci argues that “traditional intellectuals” are “deputies” for the
Traditional intellectuals promote hegemony.
Gramsci argued that in the past, tradition intellectuals were religious
leaders. Held some type of religious positions.
In Europe, in the feudal period, the Catholic Church was the primary means
of reproducing hegemony.
Under capitalism, the church is no longer the primary means of maintaining
hegemony, instead it is education!
He argues that traditional educators now promote hegemony.
The school reproduces hegemony.
Gramsci claims that “organic intellectuals can emerge that argue against
Gramsci believes that what defines humanity is its ability to think!
Gramsci believes that anyone can become an intellectual.
Unlike traditional intellectuals who tend to support hegemonic domination,
organic intellectuals would fight against hegemony.
Organic intellectuals could produce counter – hegemony! Counter-hegemony would encourage people not to accept hegemonic
Gramsci & Education
Education was controlled by traditional intellectuals who served as deputies
for the dominant class.
The formation of “vocational” schools or educations not following a well-
rounded traditional curriculum.
Gramsci believed that the new educational system of the 20 thcentury was
increasinocy elitist. He argued that people from the upper class were
educated to govern society and the rest of society was educated to be
Traditional intellectuals promoted a system of unequal access in education.
They were not the solution.
Organic intellectuals were the ones who would develop counter-hegemony.
Louis Althusser – French social scientist – writing in the 1970s – builds on
gramsci‟s ideas and concepts. Head of French communist party.
Althusser focused on “The reproduction of the means of production”
How is capitalism maintained over many decades. Two aspects to the
maintenance of capitalism
Need to replace its material needs. Raw materials, replace or update
equipment, expand/replace outdated factories.
These needs are met by other capitalists – expanding network of capitalist.
Replace/reproduce labour power (which comes from workers/people)
This is not provided by capitalist and must come from some other element of
Reading quiz, ginger power and alkcelstor reading.
30 questions, multiple choice
No longer take-home final, in class final! :( How labor-power is reproduced
Wages for workers.
Wages are needed to raise families.
Future generation of workers
The Ideology of capitalism must also be reproduced.
Like Gramsci, Althusser emphasizes the importantance of ideology (beliefs
and ideas) – Just not focused on the material like Marx.
Like Gramsci and Marx, Althusser views the state as controlled by the
dominant class (eg capitalist)
But Althusser claims there are two ways by which the state functions.
According to Marx the state functions through repression or force!
According to Althusser the state also operates through ideology.
Althusser views the state as functioning through two sets of apparatuses.
Repressive state apparatus
Police, courts and prison.
Ideological state apparatuses ***
Religious I.S.A. primary in feudal period***
Educational ISA primary in capilist societies.***
The family becomes powerful in accepting
The legal ISA
Literature/Arts and Sports “culturals ISA
He argues that ideological state apparatuses tend to operate in the private
domain, whereas repressive state apparatuses operate in the public domain.
Good workers must embrace the ideology capitalism if capitalism is going to
continue to operate. Workers already come to work with this ideology in the
place. Louis Althusser introduced that idea that in the private sphere people were
trained for “capitalism” Captialism is reproduced in the private sphere of
In the 1970s a new type of anthropology known as “feminist” anthropology
would emerge. And this feminist anthropology will build on the public/private
spheres suggested by Althusser.
Michelle Rosaldo would argue that societies had a public/private dichotomy.
She believed that the distinction between public and private social life was a
She claimed that the public sphere was dominated by men. The private
(domestic) sphere was dominated by women.
Childcare was the universal responsibility of women. Week 8 Notes
Marx – claimed that class conflict would lead to a revolution. Capitalism would end up being overthrown.
Gramsci – was concerned of what didn‟t happen when he was in prison (successful revolution)
He argues that hegemony has worked to prevent a revolution. (empowering dominant class because people accept
that the dominant class is choosing what‟s best for them.)
Hegemony is primary promoted by “traditional intellectuals”
During the feudal period in Europe, the church
During capitalism it was education.
Counter hegemony – is Gramsci‟s solution to hegemony.
Who would provide “counter-hegemony?” –The Organic intellectuals
Marx emphasized work and the economy
Gramsci emphasized thinking and Ideology
Louis Althusser –French
Borrows some ideas from Gramsci, to recreate his concept of “ideological state apparatuses”
Captialists dominate society and is empowered, and the state is the tool used by those empowered.
His big question is “How does capitalism maintain itself?” or how is it reproduced. (what keeps it functioning year
Answer in two parts:
1. How is capitalism reproduce… By other capitalists! They provide machinery. Material needs are met by other
capitalist who are part of the public sphere.
In public sphere, there is a network of capitalist working together meeting each others needs. They control the
2. Workers must come from outside of the public sphere.
Workers come from the “private” sphere where they are reproduced. Who?
He argues that workers are being reproduced by the family and by the schools, education.
How and why are workers prepared for capitalism?
Not usually by force or violence – rather it is through learning and ideology of being a good worker.
Althusser claims that the state is the tool of the dominant class.
Capitalist “control” the state.
The state operates in two very different ways:
1. State as a repressive force – use of violence! State uses the “repressive state apparatus”
Prisons, police, courts
2. State as an Ideological force
The state usually operates through ideological acceptance of state power.
Where does the acceptance of social inequality and the ideology it involves come from?
Family, School (like Gramsci), Religion, Culture, Political Parties, Mass Media
Altusser promoted a perspective of society building upon both public and private as