Sociology Index

HEGEMONY

Ideological Hegemony

Hegemony is a concept of Italian Marxist Antonio Gramsci (1891-1937) which refers to the way that the political and social domination of the bourgeois class in capitalist society is pervasively expressed not only in ideologies but in all realms of culture and social organization.

While arising in the analysis of a class divided society the term hegemony is also used in discussion of a patriarchal society or a colonial society. Hegemony historically meant leadership or predominance, especially by one member of a confederacy or union, originally of the States of ancient Greece.

Hegemony is the dominance or undue influence exercised by a country, especially the former USSR, over its weaker neighbours. In Third World terms 'hegemony' has come generally to mean Soviet domination. Some of the phrases with the term hegemony are: The working-class hegemony, and Political hegemony.

Hegemony, not anarchy: why China and Japan are not balancing US unipolar power - Peter Van Ness, Contemporary China Centre, Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies, Australian National Univ

Abstract: The United States today dominates the globe and many regional geographical subsystems in an unprecedented way, maintaining a hegemonic order that is in no way similar to the ‘anarchy’ assumed in realist analyses. The global system today is not simply unipolar; it is a hegemonic system that is increasingly globalized, in which the basic concepts of realism (anarchy, self-help and power balancing) provide little guidance or understanding in explaining state behavior. This paper describes the US hegemonic system, analyzes the roles of China and Japan within this system, and examines how the Bush administration's plans for missile defense might transform the system.

International Law in Times of Hegemony: Unequal Power and the Shaping of the International Legal Order - Nico Krisch
Abstract: Hegemony and international law are often regarded as irreconcilable: international law is widely assumed to depend on a balance of power and to be eschewed by hegemons in favour of political tools. This corresponds to an often idealized contrast between international law and international politics, one reflecting reason and justice, the other brute power. Realists and critical legal scholars have long sought to counter this idealization, but often by merely reducing international law to power. This article seeks to go beyond these positions by analysing the multiple ways in which dominant states interact with international law.

The hegemony of hegemony 
Jeremy Valentine, Queen Margaret University College, Edinburgh 
A distinctive characteristic of Laclau and Mouffe's theory of hegemony is its insistence on the denial of an essence or ground of the subject. This element of their theory is derived from their notion of antagonism, in which a relation with a ground is brought into question by revealing its contingency. This article argues that the political dimension of this argument makes sense only in the context of Laclau and Mouffe's notion of modernity. However, the universalizing of modernity as the form of hegemony reduces the ontological notion of antagonism to a dialectical or empirical notion of contradiction. This article examines two key moves in this process: first, the reduction of the subject to Lacan's account of the subject; and second, the reduction of modernity to an ontotheologicalpolitical structure derived from Lefort as the support of the hegemonic subject. From this the article examines Laclau's response to the exhaustion of political modernity in the figure of complexity, from which antagonism is evacuated through the hegemony of the category of myth.

Designing Women - Cultural Hegemony and the Exercise of Power among Women Who Have Undergone Elective Mammoplasty - PATRICIA GAGN´┐Ż, DEANNA McGAUGHEY, University of Louisville 
This article draws on Foucault's concept of the exercise of power and Gramsci's concept of hegemony to examine how women used cosmetic surgery to exercise power over their bodies and lives. The analysis is rooted in two feminist perspectives on cosmetic surgery. The first argues that women who elect to have their bodies surgically altered are victims of false consciousness whose bodies are disciplined by the hegemonic male gaze. The second asserts that women who undergo elective cosmetic surgery exercise free choice in controlling their bodies and lives. By examining sites wherein power is exercised by and over women, the authors argue for a synthesis of these two perspectives. They find that the women achieved greater power and control over their bodies and lives when they embodied hegemonic ideals of feminine beauty. Cosmetic surgery can be empowering for individual women while reinforcing the hegemonic ideals that oppress women as a group.

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