Monday, February 01, 2010


Hegemony (from Williams [1976]): dominance in relations between social classes; not limited to direct political and economic control, but involves worldview, culture, and consciousness; expresses interests of the dominant political class and yet is accepted as common sense and normal reality by those subordinated to it; every hegemonic system contains the seeds of a counter-hegemony; cf. Marx's false consciousness; elaborated by Gramsci

Upon the different forms of property, upon the social conditions of existence, rises an entire superstructure of distinct and peculiarly formed sentiments, illusions, habits of thought, and outlooks on life in general. The class as a whole creates and shapes them out of its material foundation, and out of the corresponding social relationships. The individual in whom they arise through tradition and education, may fancy them to be the true determinant, the real origin, of his activities.

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