Re: hegemony and the polyphony of culture
7 Dec 94 10:26:14 EST

In article <3c2o46$>, (Wing-Hoi Chan (GD 1999)) writes:
> : Thats hegemony. When the masses *believe*, without questioning, that the elite
> : culture is superior then they have fallen into a hegemonic relationship. The
> : internalization or acceptance of such a belief is what Gramsci called
> : "ideological hegemony". A good example is Social Darwinism in America. Many
> i am glad that some one finally responded.
> but then i think the same problem comes up in your response:
> belief in superiority of elite culture does not involve internalizing
> elite culture. it may be phrase as internalization of that belief.
> it comes down to believing that the elites are superior. in this kind
> of argument that actual contents of elite culture does not matter at
> all. i am not sure if people who invoke "hegemony" or "hegemonic
> culture" actually meant what i just said. any further pointers?

But what does "superior" mean (for the purposes of this discussion)? It is
possible for non-elites to recognize the connections between elites, power, and
elite culture without identifying the culture as the source of the power.
However, understanding that the power of elites is the only thing that makes
their culture "superior" still doesn't change the fact that the elites have the
power. What I'm trying to assert is that internalization isn't necessary. You
don't have to internalize elite culture, nor do you have to believe that elite
culture is superior. All that you have to realize is that in order to increase
your own power, you have to be imitate elite culture. I suspect that
recognizing the link between power, elites, and elite culture is sufficient.
The rest is just ideological mystification.

Hope this doesn't get us to far from your topic...

Julia Smith
University of Pittsburgh