COMM lecture

COMM lecture - Comm 206 Finishing Gramsci-idea of Hegemony...

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Comm. 206 1/31/08 Finishing Gramsci: -idea of Hegemony: Hegemony rejects the concept of a singular mass ideology (Marx) Singular ideology makes it difficult to recognize how people in economically and socially disadvantaged positions really do challenge or resist ideology 2 central aspects to hegemony: o 1. Dominant ideologies are often presented as “common sense” o 2. Dominant ideologies are in tension with other forces and hence constantly in flux. -Thus, relations of domination do not involve coercion but consent. No single class of people ‘has’ hegemony And no one group ultimately ‘has’ all the power Because relationships of power/class are constantly in flux, dominant ideologies must constantly be reaffirmed in a culture –they have to be maintained (we have to be reminded of status quo, a continual reminder, if it isn’t maintained then counter hegemonic movements can happen. If we have to be reminded of the way things are then there is obviously room for change). That dominant relations of power have to be maintained means that counter-hegemonic forces, such as political movements or subversive cultural elements, can emerge and question the status quo of how things are Counter hegemonic movement that questioned the status quo was the women’s feminist movement that changed things. (ex: subcultures: punks, Emo, Goths. New art different then the old) These types of counter hegemonic movements are moved to incorporate into hegemony (mainstream society) so the cycle continues and there’s no problems. Does this kill the essence of it. .? Not always does it have to. Said: Orientalism Has to do with how the west views the Orient, and through the relationship the west is also defining itself. Positioning the East as the other, therefore the West is self (or normal) An example of thinking through some of Gramsci’s ideas Orientalism: French and British—stereotypes of the near and the “idle” east (primitive, exotic, mystical) Orient and occident Orient as European invention to define Europe Orientalism is western style that allows domination of orient Must be understood as historically formed (echoes Gramsci) Orientalism: ideas that are not about the Orient but ideas There is power in how we represent “other” it creates and shapes ideology. There are consequences, the representations are not trivial, they have influence Orientalism is just a sign of stereotypes it a sign of power, they don’t say the truth about people they are representing an idea (east) in context in which west occupies a place of power. Said thinks critically about Orientalism the way Gramsci advises to and concludes this Althusser: Ideology: -Two different ways of how ideology works: -1) ideological state apparatuses (ISA’s) the institutions that organize our lives (media, institutions of marriage, schooling) -work to both produce and disseminate ideology -2) Concept of interpretation
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COMM lecture - Comm 206 Finishing Gramsci-idea of Hegemony...

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