Cultural Hegemony in the United States by Lee Artz

By Lee Artz

This textual content is the 1st to offer cultural hegemony in its unique shape - as a strategy of consent, resistance, and coercion. Hegemony is illustrated with examples from American background and modern tradition, together with practices that symbolize race, gender, and sophistication in way of life.

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Extra resources for Cultural Hegemony in the United States

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The telescoped version of American capitalist hegemony offered here is widened when we turn to examples of race, gender, and class in the next chapters. Hegemonic Apparatuses The resilient durability of capitalist cultural hegemony in the United States illustrates that successful ruling classes make significant adjustments materially, politically, and culturally to maintain their leadership. Such adjustments have limits, however. The capitalist class cannot transform itself at will like Margaret Wise Brown's (1972) mother bunny does.

A note of caution: Material benefits need not be abundant nor strictly economic. Lacking options, subordinate groups may be satisfied with minimal rewards. Although consent may be reluctant, groups often consent to hegemony because the limited benefits are immediate and easily attainable. More substantial benefits m a y b e possible, but if they can be attained only through actions that jeopardize current benefits, the risk may be too great. In simple terms, a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.

The Consciousness of Lukäcs Intellectuals connected with working-class movements in Europe were more optimistic about the possibilities for social progress. German political theorist and activist Karl Korsch, for example, rejected the mechanically deterministic interpretations of Marxism and stressed the potential for social change through collective political action. As an activist in the workers' council movement in the 1920s, Korsch viewed classical versions of Marxism as out of touch with the immediate realities of working people.

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