Sociology Index


IDEOLOGICAL HEGEMONY arises in a situation where a particular ideology is pervasively reflected throughout a society in all principal social institutions and permeates cultural ideas and social relationships. Ideological hegemony is a system of thought control. Ideology is a linked set of ideas and beliefs that act to uphold and justify an existing or desired arrangement of power, authority, wealth and status in a society.

Social power can exercised within any given society through ideology. A socialist ideology advocates the transformation of society from capitalism to collective ownership and economic equality. A liberal ideology associated with capitalism and capitalist societies upholds that system as the best, most moral, most desirable form of social arrangement.

Patriarchal ideology also has this characteristic of asserting claims and beliefs that justify a social arrangement: in this case, male social domination of women.

A racist ideology claiming that people can be classified into distinct races and that some races are inferior to others. Racist ideologies are used as justifications for systems of slavery or colonial exploitation.

Although there is often a dominant ideology in a society, there can also be counter-ideologies that advocate transformation of social relationships.

Controversy and Ideological Hegemony in Sociological Theory
Mark L. Wardell , Ellsworth R. Fuhrman, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
ABSTRACT: Sociological theory has been characterized by the recurrence of several controversies since its inception. The relationship between the individual and society represents one of these. Charles Horton Cooley's notion of the individual and society being twin-born has been labeled one of the major breakthroughs in this controversy. According to Tiryakian, Cooley's work signaled the end of that controversy, but still it reappears. Drawing heavily from Mannheim, Berger and Pullberg, and Therborn, we examine the recurrence of the individual versus society controversy. Sociology, we contend, occupies an alienated position within capitalist society where positivist epistemology serves as an ideological veil, concealing the existence of ontological presuppositions, distorting social reality, and preventing any meaningful attempt to understand the development of sociology, or the recurrence of the individual-society controversy. As an ideological veil, positivism contributes to the recurring bifurcation of social reality. The dominance of positivism within sociology, moreover, gives it a hegemonic status, further negating any recognition that the individual and society are interdependent.

Ideological Hegemony and Global Governance
Thomas Ford Brown, Johns Hopkins University
Cite: Brown, Thomas Ford. (1997). "Ideological Hegemony and Global Governance." Journal of World-Systems Research 3.
In After Liberalism, Wallerstein argues that liberalism is in decline, both as a system and as a hegemonic discourse (Wallerstein, 1995). He holds that those dissatisfied with the liberal consensus have, since 1989, turned to free-market rhetoric as an alternative, but he dismisses this movement as not "serious" (242). He holds that since the collapse of Communism, no hope for liberation remains that can tame the world's working class, and that liberalism cannot consequently survive.
I would argue that free-market ideology is more potent than Wallerstein allows, and that laissez-faire libertarian utopianism could conceivably prove as seductive to a disillusioned working class as socialist utopianism was during the early 20th century. Libertarian sympathies and ideology are easily exploited by non-believers as a means of extending the status quo. "Minarchist" rhetoric upholding small government is commonly appropriated by politicians who have no intention of implementing a full libertarian program.
In this paper, I speak to "libertarianism" as it is understood in the United States: as a fiscally conservative and socially liberal political philosophy that upholds individual liberties and individual property rights above all other ideals. As such, libertarianism functions as the philosophical justification for Chicago school economic policy.

Ideological Hegemony - Thought Control in American Society -
In June 2003 a Washington Post-ABC News poll found that about 1 in 4 Americans (incorrectly) believed Iraq had used weapons of mass destruction during the recent war with the United States. A separate poll in the same month found that 34% of Americans believed the United States had already found weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. In September another poll found that 69% of Americans believed Saddam Hussein was personally involved in 9-11. Even the Bush administration has been forced to admit that these claims are not true. These misconceptions are the outcome of a system of thought control called ideological hegemony.

Ideological hegemony operates through many mechanisms including the media, education system, newspeak and others with the primary function of maintaining support for the dominant socio-economic system in the United States.

Ideological hegemony in the United States operates in a similar manner. Critics play an important role in perpetuating ideological hegemony. Hegemony is the result of the way the media, education system and other institutions are set up and have evolved. The power elite, have far greater power, wealth and prestige than those below them.

The kind of ideological hegemony that operates in America is different from the mechanisms used by totalitarian states to maintain control. Totalitarian societies tend to rely more on violence to control the population, although they usually also have an ideology to support the status quo.

Hegemony operates through many institutions and mechanisms. Hegemony is written into the very structure of our language, through a process called newspeak. And there are also other elements to hegemony, but these are the main ones addressed here. In addition, some of these institutions have functions other than directly reinforcing hegemony. The education system is a kind of Keynesianism and the media helps create artificial scarcity, for example. These other functions are not examined here, the focus is on how each of these institutions acts to create and reinforce ideological hegemony.

Government regulations can also act to pressure private schools to reproduce bourgeois ideological hegemony.

During the First World War the government found that if they could convince the educated classes that their war propaganda was true and to this day the intelligentsia acts in a similar manner. If they can be kept indoctrinated then it will magnify the effects of ideological hegemony.

The equation of anarchy with chaos is nothing more than a smear used to discredit a radical philosophy. Most who equate anarchy with chaos have read little or no anarchist theory and do so only because ideological hegemony pushes that equation.

The idea of “objectivity” is also used to reinforce ideological hegemony. Ideas and sources outside the liberal-conservative spectrum are dismissed as “un-objective,” “biased,” “inflammatory” or sometimes “extremist.” Only the ideas & sources within the liberal-conservative spectrum are considered “objective.” Sometimes this is also used by groups within the liberal-conservative spectrum against each other, such as a conservative denouncing a liberal’s position as “biased” (or vice versa).

Whether liberal-conservative ideas happen to be correct and whether ideological hegemony exists are two separate issues. Even if it could be shown that a philosophy within the liberal-conservative spectrum were correct this would not change the fact that there exists a social system, hegemony, which acts to indoctrinate the populace into believing in those ideas.

Ideological Hegemony and The Indo-U.S. Nuclear Deal - Priyanka Mahadevia
Abstract: The Indo-U.S. nuclear deal is currently an extremely controversial issue that faces strong opposition from states who view the deal as a violation of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation treaty, and an exemplification of the U.S.’s inconsistent participation in the NPT regime. Current analyses of the NPT regime are centered on identifying actors and policies that are worthy of censure, and that can be held accountable for the regime’s collapse. My research moves away from this trend by focusing on a key process, of hegemonic legitimization, in order to add an underemphasized dimension to our understanding of the problems facing the NPT. In the context of non-proliferation, the U.S. hegemon utilizes its powerful standing in the regime to forge an acceptance of its own norm violations, to manufacture consensus by justifying its actions and policies, and to maintain its hegemony.

Class Domination and Ideological Hegemony - David L. Sallach, Washington University
Correspondence to Reprints of this article may be obtained by writing to David Sallach, Department of Sociology, Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri 63130.
ABSTRACT: Sociological theory poses the issue of whether ideational or coercive factors provide the central basls of social order. The former view maintains (and requires) that a value consensus exist in the empirical world; the latter assumes the existence of a ruling class which dominates the ideational institutions of the society. A preliminary scrutiny of available evidence suggests that: (1) a value consensus does not exist, and (2) there is a high concentration of wealth and economic control which appears to extend into vital political and ideological areas, thereby implying the existence of a dominant or ruling class. Based upon these conclusions, the concept of ideological hegemony is introduced as a significant component of a Marxist view of social order. The hegemonic process is described and available evidence is examined in the areas of political socialization and mass media. A pattern in which debate and discussion are circumscribed while alternative values and world views are ignored or suppressed was found to characterize these two areas. This pattern was seen to provide further support for the Marxist view that an ideological hegemony imposed by the dominant class is the ideational manifestation of a social order based upon coercion.

Ideology and Growth Promotion - Bridger, Jeffrey C.; Harp, Aaron J.
Journal of Rural Studies, v6 n3 p269-77 1990
Abstract: Uses ideological hegemony concept to analyze one local elite's efforts to "sell" community growth. Expands growth ideology research explaining wealth transfer from public to social elite in local areas. Examines government, media roles of disseminating "pro-growth" ideology with case studies. Property, progress, and community identified as central to ideological hegemony.

The Discourse on the Digital Divide: Are We Being Co-opted?
Ilhan Kucukaydin, Elizabeth J. Tisdell, Penn State University - Harrisburg
Abstract: This paper strives to reconstruct the digital divide discourse from a Gramscian perspective in relation to educators’ role in cultural force in the process of hegemonic dominance. Educators either serve the interest of ruling elites and help the maintenance of ideological hegemony or counter-serve hegemonic forces by breaking the cycle of dehumanization and oppression. In essence, the digital divide discourse and its popularization were perceived as a product of ideological hegemony. In order to analyze the digital divide discourse, this paper looked at the current literature related to digital divide, and then examined technology’s historical relations with the hegemonic power structure. The contemporary United States society and its dominant discourse on the digital divide and how other social determinants related to the class structure are being ignored in the process of approaching this social problem are also analyzed. Finally the paper discussed how educators need to deal with and challenge educational inequities in the new alteration process of hegemonic structure that has a strong dialectical relation with the new technological advancement. This discussion is one attempt to participate in its rearrangement.

Ideological hegemony meant that the majority of the population accepted what was happening in society as ‘common sense’ or as ‘the only way of running society’. There may have been complaints about the way things were run and people looked for improvements or reforms but the basic beliefs and value system underpinning society were seen as either neutral or of general applicability in relation to the class structure of society. Marxists would have seen people constantly asking for a bigger slice of the cake when the real issue was ownership of the bakery. -

Hegemony and Historiography: The Politics of Pedagogy - Yvette Claire Rosser, PhD - A.B.D. - Yvette Claire Rosser is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at The University of Texas at Austin. She has a M.A. -South Asian History and Culture & a B.A. (with honors), in Asian Studies from UT Austin.
Abstract: This paper situates a discussion of the influences of colonialism, nationalism, and politics on historiography and curriculum development within a comparative study of the contents of Social Studies textbooks in Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan. It traces the impact of colonial policies on pedagogical institutions in South Asia and their subsequent appropriation by the nationalist discourse. It discusses the ubiquitous implementation of the 'culture of textbooks,' which simultaneously brought about a loss of status for teachers and became instruments which reify and replicate class inequalities and religious and cultural differences by promoting rote learning and reproduction instead of dialectical. Education in this critical analysis, becomes a hegemonic tool mediating between centers of power and the common citizen.

Heritage Institutions, Resistance, and Praxis - Susan L.T. Ashley
Abstract: Abstract: Heritage institutions traditionally function as subtle hegemonic devices for the production and public representation of knowledge, meaning, and belonging. This article looks at the role of public intellectuals called heritage interpreters who work at heritage institutions as agents of knowledge production. The concept of the public sphere is considered in relation to the ideas of Antonio Gramsci on hegemony, the intellectual, and praxis to offer an expanded view of communicative production at heritage institutions. The article explores the interpreter’s role resisting ideological hegemony and commodification, and in creating spaces and conversations for alternative imaginings of and struggle toward public knowledge and radical pedagogy.

Religion and the Media in a Battle for Ideological Hegemony: the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God and TV Globo in Brazil, BIRMAN P.; LEHMANN D.