Home > H Words > hegemony

hegemony

Definition of Hegemony

(noun) The authority, dominance, and influence of one group, nation, or society over another group, nation, or society; typically through cultural, economic, or political means.

Examples of Hegemony

  • The cultural influence of the United States on the rest of the world spread through movies, music, and television.
  • The cultural and societal definitions of acceptable femininity and masculinity.

Hegemony Pronunciation

  • IPA Pronunciation
    • American English
      • /həˈdʒɛməni/
      • /ˈhɛdʒəˌmoʊni/
      • /ˈhidʒəˌmoʊni/
    • British English
      • /hᵻˈɡɛməni/
      • /hᵻˈdʒɛməni/
      • /ˈhɛɡᵻməni/
      • /ˈhɛdʒᵻməni/
      • /ˈhiːɡᵻməni/
      • /ˈhiːdʒᵻməni/
  • Syllabification: (he·gem·o·ny)

Usage Notes

  • Plural: hegemonies
  • A dominate leader is referred to as a hegemon.
  • It is easy to associate hegemony synonymously with domination but it is more nuanced. Hegemonic power works by consent, not coercion caused by force or violence; thus it is not questioned. Hegemony supports the status quo and solidifies the idea that “how it is” represents “how it should be.” Therefore, hegemonic power becomes “common sense” and normalized within a society, facilitating compliance.
  • The Marxist theory of cultural hegemony (also called ideological hegemony) developed by Antonio Gramsci (1891–1937) explains how the dominant class has the power to control not only a society’s economic and political institutions, but also to influence the intellectual and moral basis of society whereby their own superior position is considered in the best interest of all. Cultural hegemony allows the dominant class to create and transfer beliefs, mores, and values to the subordinate class.
  • Hegemony is an example of soft power.
  • Sociologist study numerous forms of hegemony such as hegemonic masculinity and media hegemony.
  • A (noun) hegemonist exerts (adjective) hegemonic control to (adverb) hegemonistically create (nounhegemonism.

Related Quotations

Additional Information

Related Terms


References

Flora, Cornelia Butler, and Jan L. Flora. 2007. “The Sociology of Development.” Pp. 496 in 21st Century Sociology: A Reference Handbook, edited by C. D. Bryant and D. L. Peck. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.

Gramsci, Antonio. 1971. Selections from the Prison Notebooks of Antonio Gramsci, edited and translated by Q. Hoare and G. Nowell-Smith. New York: International.

Green, Andy. 1990. Education and State Formation: The Rise of Education Systems in England, France and the USA. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Kaufman, Michael, and Michael S. Kimmel. 2011. The Guy’s Guide to Feminism. Berkeley, CA: Seal Press.

Marger, Martin. 1985. Race and Ethnic Relations: American and Global Perspectives. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

McNamee, Stephen J., and Robert K. Miller, Jr. 2013. The Meritocracy Myth. 3rd ed. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.

Works Consulted

Bilton, Tony, Kevin Bonnett, Pip Jones, David Skinner, Michelle Stanworth, and Andrew Webster. 1996. Introductory Sociology. 3rd ed. London: Macmillan.

Buchanan, Ian. 2010. A Dictionary of Critical Theory. New York: Oxford University Press.

Castree, Noel, Rob Kitchin, and Alisdair Rogers. 2013. A Dictionary of Human Geography. New York: Oxford University Press.

Chandler, Daniel, and Rod Munday. 2011. A Dictionary of Media and Communication. New York: Oxford University Press.

Chase-Dunn, Christopher, and Bruce Lerro. 2014. Social Change: Globalization from the Stone Age to the Present. New York: Routledge.

Dillon, Michele. 2014. Introduction to Sociological Theory: Theorists, Concepts, and their Applicability to the Twenty-first Century. 2nd ed. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.

Ferrante, Joan. 2011a. Seeing Sociology: An Introduction. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

Ferrante, Joan. 2011b. Sociology: A Global Perspective. 7th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

Ferris, Kerry, and Jill Stein. 2010. The Real World: An Introduction to Sociology. 2nd ed. New York: Norton.

Fowler, Henry Watson, and Robert Allen. 2008. Pocket Fowler’s Modern English Usage. 2nd ed. New York: Oxford University Press.

Harcup, Tony. 2014. A Dictionary of Journalism. New York: Oxford University Press.

Honderich, Ted., ed. 2005. The Oxford Companion to Philosophy. 2nd ed. New York: Oxford University Press.

Kornblum, William. 2008. Sociology in a Changing World. 8th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

Krieger, Joel. 2001. The Oxford Companion to Politics of the World. 2 ed. New York: Oxford University Press.

Macionis, John, and Kenneth Plummer. 2012. Sociology: A Global Introduction. 4th ed. Harlow, England: Pearson Education.

Marsh, Ian, and Mike Keating, eds. 2006. Sociology: Making Sense of Society. 3rd ed. Harlow, England: Pearson Education.

McLean, Iain, and Alistair McMillan. 2009. The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Politics. 3rd ed. New York: Oxford University Press.

Nugent, David, and Joan Vincent, eds. 2007. A Companion to the Anthropology of Politics. Malden, MA: Blackwell.

O’Leary, Zina. 2007. The Social Science Jargon Buster: The Key Terms You Need to Know. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.

Ravelli, Bruce, and Michelle Webber. 2016. Exploring Sociology: A Canadian Perspective. 3rd ed. Toronto: Pearson.

Scott, John, and Gordon Marshall. 2005. A Dictionary of Sociology. New York: Oxford University Press.

Stewart, Paul, and Johan Zaaiman, eds. 2015. Sociology: A Concise South African Introduction. Cape Town: Juta.

Thorpe, Christopher, Chris Yuill, Mitchell Hobbs, Sarah Tomley, and Marcus Weeks. 2015. The Sociology Book: Big Ideas Simply Explained. London: Dorling Kindersley.

Tomlinson, Alan. 2010. A Dictionary of Sports Studies. New York: Oxford University Press.

Wikipedia contributors. (N.d.) Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation. (https://en.wikipedia.org/).

Wikipedia contributors. (N.d.) Wiktionary, The Free Dictionary. Wikimedia Foundation. (http://en.wiktionary.org).

Cite the Definition of Hegemony

ASA – American Sociological Association (5th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2015. “hegemony.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Retrieved September 18, 2019 (https://sociologydictionary.org/hegemony/).

APA – American Psychological Association (6th edition)

hegemony. (2015). In K. Bell (Ed.), Open education sociology dictionary. Retrieved from https://sociologydictionary.org/hegemony/

Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date – Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2015. “hegemony.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Accessed September 18, 2019. https://sociologydictionary.org/hegemony/.

MLA – Modern Language Association (7th edition)

“hegemony.” Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Ed. Kenton Bell. 2015. Web. 18 Sep. 2019. <https://sociologydictionary.org/hegemony/>.