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Civil And Political Hegemony

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Chapter Summary

According to an influential interpretation, the concept of hegemony in the Prison Notebooks is distinguished by four features: 1. it denotes a strategy aiming at the production of consent, as opposed to coercion; 2. the terrain of its efficacy is civil society, rather than the state; 3. its field of operation is 'the West', the proper terrain of war of position, in its distinction from 'the East', suited to a war of movement; 4. finally, it can be applied equally to bourgeois and proletarian leadership strategies, because it is in nuce a generic and formal theory of social power. Antonio Gramsci explains the transition between civil society and the state by introducing the concept of 'political society or State' as a superstructural 'level' alongside that of civil society within the integral state. Gramsci here presents the concept of hegemony as a Marxist theory of 'the constitution of the political.'

Keywords: Antonio Gramsci; concept of hegemony; Prison Notebooks



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