Ipsita Chatterjee Hegemony Italian Marxist Antonio Gramsci coined the term ‘hegemony’ to explain in a nuanced way how the ruling class exercises control over the dominated class. Gramsci elaborated classical Marxist ideas on domination by stating that the ruling class exercises 2 modes of control (a) coercion or force (b) indirect control. Coercion involves the direct use of brute force by state apparatuses like the police, torture squads, fascist squads to gain compliance with the demands of a specific mode of production. Hegemony may include components of direct force, but largely involves indirect control in the level of ideas by symbolic production. The ruling class reproduces its own ideology through symbolic production in sectors like church, school, media to gain control over the minds of the dominated class. Using the ideological apparatuses in civil society (schools, church, media) the ruling class mobilizes ‘active consent’ from the dominated group -- the latter willingly consents to its own exploitation – consent may range from grudging compliance
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This note was uploaded on 03/31/2008 for the course GEOG 128 taught by Professor Ipsitachatterjee during the Spring '08 term at Penn State.