Cover image for Cultural hegemony in the United States
Cultural hegemony in the United States
Artz, Lee.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Thousand Oaks, Calif. : Sage Publications, [2000]

Physical Description:
ix, 338 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm.
Power through consent -- Cultural hegemony and racism -- Hegemony & gender : breakthroughs & entrenchment -- Class contradictions and antagonisms -- Prospects for challenge and change.
Added Author:

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
HN57 .A73 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



Popular usage equates hegemony with dominance-a meaning far from Antonio Gramsci's original concept where hegemony appears as a contested culture that meets the minimum needs of the majority while serving the interests of the dominant class. This text is the first to present cultural hegemony in its original form-as a process of consent, resistance, and coercion. Hegemony is illustrated with examples from American history and contemporary culture, including practices that represent race, gender, and class in everyday life. U.S. cultural hegemony depends in part on how well media, government, and other dominant institutions popularize beliefs and organize practices that promote individualism and consumerism. Corporate dominance and market values reign only through the consent of the majority, which, for the time being - finds material, political, and cultural benefit from existing social relations. As deep social contradictions undermine brittle hegemonic relations, the subordinate majority - including blacks, women, and workers will seek a new cultural hegemony that overcomes race, gender, and class inequality.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Cultural Hegemony examines fundamental questions of how dominant and subordinate groups in society interact. To what extent do elites use either coercion or rewards? Under what conditions do the less powerful either rebel or acquiesce? The authors use Antonio Gramsci's concept of hegemony as the basis for their argument: ideas stem from experience, and conflict prevails. They argue for transforming social structures and relations through "historic blocs" (coalitions). Focusing on the interaction of material conditions, politics, and popular culture, the authors study how working class people, African Americans, and women struggle against or accept corporate dominance, two-party politics, and consumerism. They present numerous examples: black media characters appear apart from black communities; labor is absent in the media; family and community have become structured around work; and conservatives accept social changes as "normal" after great contestation. Hegemonic forces desire to depoliticize people's problems and oppositional culture, then market the latter as consumer products. Cultural Hegemony is excellent--well written with pithy examples, yet including good analysis and nuances. Some issues are underconsidered, such as advances among African Americans and Weber's view of social class. The conclusion on challenging hegemony needs development. Nevertheless, highly recommended for all collections in social inequality, popular culture, and politics. S. D. Borchert; Lake Erie College

Table of Contents

Power through Consent
Cultural Hegemony and Racism
Hegemony and Gender
Breakthroughs and Entrenchment
Class Contradictions and Antagonisms
Prospect for Challenge and Change