Cultural hegemony

In Marxist philosophy, cultural hegemony is the dominance of a culturally diverse society by the ruling class who manipulate the culture of that society—the beliefs and explanations, perceptions, values, and mores—so that the worldview of the ruling class becomes the accepted cultural norm.[1] As the universal dominant ideology, the ruling-class worldview misrepresents the social, political, and economic status quo as natural, inevitable, and perpetual social conditions that benefit every social class, rather than as artificial social constructs that benefit only the ruling class.[2][3]

The Marxist intellectual Antonio Gramsci (1891–1937) developed cultural hegemony to explain the social-control structures of society, and said that the working-class intelligentsia must generate a working-class ideology to counter the worldview (cultural hegemony) of the ruling class.

In philosophy and in sociology, the denotations and the connotations of term cultural hegemony derive from the Ancient Greek word hegemonia (ἡγεμονία), which indicates the leadership and the régime of the hegemon.[4] In political science, hegemony is the geopolitical dominance exercised by an empire, the hegemon (leader state) that rules the subordinate states of the empire by the threat of intervention, an implied means of power, rather than by threat of direct rule—military invasion, occupation, and territorial annexation.[5][6]


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