Gramsci saw the human history as being key to the Marxist agenda of social change and that it is only nature that mattered to the point that it interacted with the mankind. This paper is going to describe the potential significance for anthropologists of the ideas of Gramsci.
The most obvious contribution of Gramsci to anthropology is cultural hegemony. This was a term that was coined by Antonio Gramsci, who is also credited for being the founder of the Italian communist party. He wrote while he was imprisoned in the Fascist jail. He was concerned with how power works and in fact how it wielded by those in power and how it won by those that they do not want to change the system. In fact, at the time the dominant idea amongst Marxist radicals like him was that in order for one to attain power one had to seize the means of production as well as the administration (Crehan, 2002). Gramsci recognized that taking over the means of production as well as the administration was not sufficient, this is because over the years he had witnessed workers take over and run factories in Turin, only to hand them back in several weeks because they were unsure of what to do with the factories or themselves. He had carefully observed the skill that the Catholic Church had employed in exercising its power as well as retaining the population’s allegiance. It is from this that he realized that in order for one to create as well as maintain a new society there was a need to create and maintain a new type of consciousness.
The repository of consciousness is culture and it is aesthetic sense. In an anthropological sense, it can be described as the norms and mores as well as discourses that make up the everyday life of a person. Therefore, it helps people to navigate the world, and guides ideas of wrong and right, just and unjust and beautiful and ugly (Crehan, 2002). One may be able to seize a factory which is the source of