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Gramsci's Political ThoughtHegemony, Consciousness, and the Revolutionary Process$
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Joseph V. Femia

Print publication date: 1987

Print ISBN-13: 9780198275435

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198275435.001.0001

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The Concept of Hegemony

The Concept of Hegemony

(p.23) Chapter 2 The Concept of Hegemony
Gramsci's Political Thought

Joseph V. Femia

Oxford University Press

This chapter looks at the concept of hegemony. It examines its range of meaning, reveals its nuances, highlights its ambiguities, draws out its implications, and explains its novelty within the Marxist framework. In particular, it elucidates the various forms and functions of the concept, specifies how it links up with Antonio Gramsci's theory of the revolutionary process, and illustrates in what respects ‘hegemony’ represented an innovation within the Marxist tradition. Gramsci's description of popular consciousness in modern bourgeois society is, in principle, empirically testable; and it is also evaluated in the light of recent survey studies. The major premise of Gramsci's theory of revolution is that objective material interests are not automatically or inevitably translated into class consciousness. As with the analysis of bourgeois rule, the concept of hegemony advances the readers beyond the categories of classical Marxism.

Keywords:   Antonio Gramsci, Marxism, theory of revolution, hegemony, Marxist

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