By Lee Artz
This textual content is the 1st to provide cultural hegemony in its unique shape - as a technique of consent, resistance, and coercion. Hegemony is illustrated with examples from American heritage and modern tradition, together with practices that signify race, gender, and sophistication in way of life.
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Extra resources for Cultural Hegemony in the United States
In the 19th-century "land of opportunity," enough Americans carved out a comfortable life to politically and socially fund the Manifest Destiny of the dominant classes' rise to power. Likewise, women won the right to vote but remained largely outside the decision-making processes of government and civil society. Herbert Hoover didn't put a chicken in every pot and Henry Ford didn't put a car in every garage in the early 1900s, but given the rising standard of living, most Americans thought it was possible.
Gramsci frequently referred to the state as "hegemony armed with coercion"—civil society protected by government force. In this sense, the state is not the same as the government because modern ruling classes (capitalists in Western Europe and workers in 1917 Russia) govern hegemonically through institutionally organized consent rather than government-enforced directives. Capitalist classes in the United States and Europe have led society by negotiating and collaborating with all other social groups through what Louis Althusser (1969) calls ideological state apparatuses (ISAs), such as schools, churches, the media, corporations, and so forth.
In 1896, the populist Democratic candidate for president, William Jennings Bryan, thundered his anti-big-business "Cross of Gold" speech to millions of people but lost to a heavily financed Republican campaign. Afterward, America's rulers inserted populist concerns into dominant ideology—a process repeated by Democratic and Republican politicians as recently as the 1996 national elections. In 1904, Theodore Roosevelt appropriated much of the platform of Bryan and the populists, campaigning as a so-called trust buster who would regulate big business, conserve natural resources, and establish social justice (Oliver & White, 1966, p.
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