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Hegemony

  • By: Richelle M. Bernazzoli
  • In: Encyclopedia of Geography
  • Edited by: Barney Warf
  • Subject:General Geography, Earth & Environmental Science

Hegemony refers to the ability of a dominant group to influence and shape others’ attitudes, perceptions, and actions. In contradistinction to related phenomena such as imperialism or empire, hegemony does not rely on force or violence and instead requires considerable consent from the subordinated group. This entry discusses the evolution of the concept of hegemony and its application in geography.

Much of the theorization and application of hegemony is based in Marxist thought. The Italian theorist Antonio Gramsci developed the notion of cultural hegemony around 1930 to explain why the working class had internalized or adopted the capitalist values of the bourgeoisie rather than carrying out the revolution predicted by Marxist theory. Gramsci opposed Marx's economic determinism, positing that the values and norms adopted by ...

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