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Hegemony

 

Antonio Gramsci (1971) developed the concept of hegemony for a stratified social order in which subordinates comply with domination by internalizing their rulers values and accepting the naturalness of domination. According to Pierre Bourdieu (1977) every social order tries to make its own arbitrariness including its mechanisms of control and oppression seem natural. All hegemonic ideologies offer explanations about why the existing order is in everyone’s interest. Gramsci use the idea of hegemony to explain why people conform even when they are not forced to do so. Both Bourdieu and Michel Foucault argue that it is easier and more effective to dominate people in their minds than to try to control their bodies. Besides and often replacing gross physical violence, industrial societies have devised more insidious forms of social control, these include various techniques of persuading and managing people and of monitoring and recording their beliefs, activities, and contacts. Hegemony, the internationalization of a dominant ideology is one way in which elite curb resistance and maintain power. Another way is to make subordinates believe they eventually will gain power. Another way of curbing resistance is to separate or isolate people while supervising them closely as is done in prisons. According to Foucault, describing control over prisoners, solitary confinement is one effective way to get them to submit to authority.

 

 

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