Gramsci's Cultural Hegemony

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In Gramsci’s (1937) cultural hegemony, he describes the way cultural institutions manage to gain and maintain power in capitalist societies. According to Gramsci’s point of view, the dominant classes see to incorporate all thought and behavior within their own terms and conditions, acting as if their values are common-sense. On the other side there are the dominated ones who try to create and maintain their own definitions of reality. Understanding these two scenarios, we see that there is a continued fight for dominance to understand which ideology of reality best serve the interests of the ruling class and those who are under their influence. In this aspect, culture takes a more vigorous position, because cultural domination comes…show more content…
“In general, sociological interest in the move to mass consumption in the second half of the nineteenth century was restricted to indicating the limitations of strictly economic or market explanations of human behavior.” (Featherstone, 2010: 16)
By contrast the British cultural studies reject any high/low culture distinction created by the Frankfurt School, instead taking seriously the artifacts of media culture “thus surpassing the elitism of dominant literary approaches to culture.” (Kellner). British cultural studies overcame the limitations created by the Frankfurt School notion of a passive audience, completely numb by the cultural products fed to them and created the concept of an active audience that creates their meanings and what is popular. “It is of the people, and the people’s interests are not those of the industry – as is evidence by the number of films, records and, other products (…) the people make into expensive failures.” (Fiskey, 1989: 24) Employing Gramsci 's model of hegemony and counter hegemony, British cultural studies aimed to
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While the Frankfurt school feared domination, the dumbness of society, through mass culture, British school saw how subcultural groups would resist dominant forms of culture and identity, by creating their own styles. For Bordieu (1984) “particular constellations of taste, consumption preferences and lifestyle practices are associated with specific occupation and class fractions.” Situating culture within a theory of social production and reproduction, British cultural studies specify the way cultural forms are used to create even more social domination or to allow people to resist domination. British cultural studies was viewed has highly political in nature, with focus on potential resistance of oppositional subcultures, first, valorizing the working class cultures, then, youth subcultures to resist the hegemonic forms of capitalist domination. “The British cultural study has turned away from so-called 'high ' culture in favor of the popular. But such a turn sacrifices the possible insights into all forms of culture and replicates the bifurcation of the field of culture into a
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