Theory/Praxis – [.hegemony.equals.media.]

When I read the description for this week’s blog, I truthfully had no idea what those three terms in the brackets meant before actually writing. Ideology, hegemony, and media literacy were all new to me. I had heard these words in my days, but there would be no way that I could give you an understanding of them, because I didn’t really get them myself. This led me to the World Wide Web!

After learning briefly about all three, as well as other media themes, it was hegemony that triggered the most interest in me. The very first thing that I learned was that hegemony was involved with Marxism, meaning it involved some kind of idea with a theoretical basis for the struggle of the working class, all in hopes to arrive at a higher form in society. The term was coined by Antonio Gramsci who claimed to focus on human subjectivity. [1] He was finding patterns and links to figure out why the majority of one social class has dominance over others.

The interesting thing about Gramsci’s theory was that it didn’t only concentrate on dominance alone, but leaned more to the side of assimilation. This doesn’t just mean how the government is run, money is spent, or clothes are worn by the different classes. It refers to how the dominant class, slowly casts its perception of the world on everyone else, eventually becoming the norms of the society, and being seen as ‘common sense’ and ‘natural.’[2] When we look at the United States “melting pot” country, we are headed down the right path.

Not only in the United States is this happening though. Maybe Canada as a country isn’t as patriotic or robotic as the States, but if you take one look into our media culture, we are just alike. Media is a practice for everyone, because it isn’t one specific thing. It knows what all ages like, and what it will take for all ages to use. Whether it be that new straightening iron I bought off the Shopping Channel, or my weekly catch-up on my favourite TV show Gossip Girl, our society is blending as one.   

I found a cool quote in Mythologies, which is actually referring to myths themselves. However, I am going to take this quote and replace the word myth with media. “…[media] hides nothing. Its function is to distort, not to make disappear. There is no latency of the concept in relation to the form: there is no need of an unconscious in order to explain [media].”[3] (Barthes 121) I really do think this explains the secrecy behind media. Media is just there. I wake up to my mediated radio alarm clock, slip into some mediated choice of clothes, text on my mediated cell phone, and go to class watching and listening about how media has me running in circles. As hegemony explains, whether or not the society likes it, or even realizes it, people’s norms begin to change to what they most dominantly are surrounded by.

I have discovered that the topic of hegemony has a world of its own on the Web, branching off on comics, disputes and debates, and even fires toward the US Government. Hegemony and media come hand in hand because they will forever be part of our ‘accepted’ society. Gramsci noted that “common sense is not something rigid and immobile, but is continually transforming itself” (Gramsci, cited in Hall 1982: 73).[2]

This was just an interesting ‘board game’ I found based around hegemony. Take a look, you may find something funny, but so true. I know I did. J 

[1] Cuneo, Carl. “14 Major Issues or Dimensions or Meanings of Hegemony.” Hegemony In Gramsci’s Original Prison Notebooks. Oct 6. 2008 <http://socserv2.mcmaster.ca/soc/courses/soc2r3/gramsci/gramheg.htm&gt;

[2] Chandler, Daniel. “Gramsci and Hegemony.” Marxist Media Theory. Apr. 10 2000. Oct. 6 2008 <http://www.aber.ac.uk/media/Documents/marxism/marxism10.html&gt;

[3] Barthes, Roland. Mythologies. New York. 1972.

Advertisements

1 Response so far »

  1. 1

    Lana said,

    Love the board game. Where did you find it?
    Lana


Comment RSS · TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: