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Antonio Gramsci (1891–1937), the leading Italian Marxist of the first half of the century, became one of the most influential thinkers on cultural studies from the 1980s. Earlier grouped together with Georg Lukàcs and Karl Korsch as Western Marxists because of a shared sense that it was culture, not political economy that was central to social reproduction of bourgeois societies, he is principally known for the Prison Notebooks and associated with the idea of hegemony. The Prison Notebooks, composed while Gramsci was a guest in Mussolini's jails, are highly suggestive but frequently and radically incomplete. They reveal a sophisticated and historically sensitive mind engaging with the details of Italian society and culture, but they do not contain a developed theory of hegemony. Hegemony is defined ...

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