Critical analysis is a methodological approach to understanding the manner in which social power relationships are constituted, maintained, and perpetuated through discourse. Grounded in a multi- and interdisciplinary range of theoretical perspectives including cultural studies, postcolonial theory, postmodern theories, feminist studies, and queer theory, critical scholars are concerned with the establishment and reproduction of, but also resistance to, hegemonic economic, political, and social arrangements. Here “hegemony” refers to neo-Marxist Antonio Gramsci's concept that dominant or privileged groups exert social and cultural control by winning consent for their interests. That is, the powerful elite do not achieve power through force or coercion, but by influencing the ways in which everyday meanings are symbolically represented and organized such that a presumed “natural” order is supported and reinforced—an ...

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