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2.Outline and analyse the concept of ideological hegemony. Employ the concept in analysis of a piece of text - Essay Example

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2.Outline and analyse the concept of ideological hegemony. Employ the concept in analysis of a piece of text

Gramsci’s idea of ideological hegemony is related to his view of the role of the intellectuals in the society as mediators. Journalists are also included in the blurred category of ‘intellectuals’, though Gramsci says this with a slight tone of regret (141). In Prison Notebooks, Gramsci argues that intellectuals do not constitute a separate class but rather perform certain functions: “All men are intellectuals, one could therefore say: but not all men have in society the function of intellectuals” (Gramsci 140). This means that there can be no stable class characteristic of the intellectual ‘elite’ that controls ‘masses’ (particularly, by the means of media). Such role is obtained as a function, in the process of social interactions between different groups. As the influence of such groups is not limited to their official status or the power assigned to them by law, Gramsci distinguishes between ‘dominant groups’ and state institutions: he says that intellectuals are the functionaries of such “superstructures” of the society as “civil society” (“private”) and “political society” (“the State”) (145). The former corresponds “to the function of “hegemony” which the dominant group exercises throughout society” (Gramsci 145). Thus, “hegemony” is achieved on the discoursive level, by the influence of the messages and social relations that are reproduced more successfully than that of the other ‘groups’. In Allan’s wording, it manifests itself through “persuasion” rather than “coercion” (109). The main tool of this reproduction (often used unconsciously) is so-called ‘common sense’, an intricate game of representing some group’s opinion in the “common language” of the other groups of the society (or most of them). According to Gramsci, ‘common sense’ lies in the conventions of cultural entities within the society and is carried in language, or, ...Show more
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This approach to dominance in the society is broader than in behaviourist media studies and structuralism, as it introduces media…
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