Hegemony and Culture Essay Example

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  7
Wordcount:  1720 Words
Date:  2022-07-28

Hegemony refers to the manner whereby a dominant class does not only rule the society but is also leads the community through the exertion of intellectual and moral leadership such that a consensus is created to have all the classes subscribe and support to its cultural and ideology meanings, adding them o the present society's power structure. Therefore, hegemony is a term used in the community to explain the manner in which power influences the culture which is in itself democratic and free. Since hegemony involves adapting of consensus, any given opposition may be channeled and contained into safe harbours regarding ideology through negotiation instead of an imposition. Hegemony is known to be an actor that is powerful enough to cause changes to the informal and formal practices of the international system by itself. Hegemony asserts typically a given cultural struggle which represents a shifting and contested set of ideas through ways of which given dominant groups will strive only to secure the subordinate groups' consent to their leadership. This paper will explain the concept of hegemony using historical examples, the traditional metaphor of the melting point about hegemony, and discuss a case of cultural hegemony.

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According to Campbell & Kean, (2016), in America, civil rights movement assisted in building interests in cultural diversity and ethnic pride as strengths, postulating to the possibility for cultural autonomy and self-definition instead of consensual conformity. The literature that was developed and published in the 1980s has provided a way which appreciates the United States' unipolar and unparallel position. The research did not focus on the decline of American power, but they concentrated on the effects that are as a result of the expansion of American power. The kind of assumptions regarding the nature of the America power has profoundly illustrated the concept of hegemony. An example of a historical event which vividly explains the concept of hegemony is Americanization and immigration process. The assimilation process of the Native Americans in the past proves how the ethnic identity may become preserved like active coexistent element in the larger nation. For the immigrants to be assimilated, they required to adapt to the existent American culture.

Melting pot refers to a society metaphor that explains how several varying types of individuals blend and become one. Thus melting pot entails taking of differences between different people of the society and turning them into unity (Campbell, & Kean, 2016). This involves establishing a united, stronger whole by incorporating various strengths of the diverse components. My view about the traditional metaphor of melting pot is that it does not explain ways in which people may use to absorb the aspects of different cultures since the American culture is not its homogeneity. In the individualist and multicultural age, one main proem with melting pot metaphor is that it insists that the Americans must surrender their ethnic and cultural identities. Although the culture of America is constraining, what remains unique concerning modern America is the kind of looseness about these constraints as well as the array of the available choices. I see the melting pot metaphor as being a relic of the bygone time. Making people from diverse background to unite, it requires a lot of adherence to the set guidelines. A metaphor that is more accurate than I believe would describe America well is the metaphor portraying America as being chocolate fondue. The American different ethnic and cultural backgrounds represent the various ingredients of chocolate. It is common to have chocolate not always delivering on its promises. This is because chocolate may become rancid, bitter, burnt, and grainy. Some individuals do not have any taste for the chocolate, whereas some are allergic to chocolate. In the context of America, the United States has frequently not lived up to the ideals and promises that people expect to be fulfilled. By taking into consideration all people who have ever lived across the globe, in all different times and places people living in modern America feel as being profoundly fortunate. Thus different people from diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds are typically coated in America which will make all people look as being American sharing certain common privileges and rights. Therefore, the metaphor of the United States is chocolate would best fit in describing the current situation surrounding people coming from all races and ethnicities. Furthermore, the American identity is usually created through the combination of various competing forces that are parts of the diverse people living together in the society.

Cultural hegemony refers to the concept which implies dominance of a given culture that is custom-made which attains the majority needs and it meets the interest of a social class that is dominant. Cultural hegemony usually entails manipulation of social institutions through a given dominant group with the aim of imposing their values, perceptions and beliefs on another social group in a manner which the changed social culture will become accepted as a norm (Campbell, & Kean, 2016). Cultural states like these results to acceptance of political, social and economic discrepancies as being normal. One example of cultural hegemony where you would object to the view of the authors is that seen in the mass media foundation. The media is generally viewed as an impartial and independent entity. However, the broadcasting of the media within the United States has to follow specific protocol and guideline at the time of producing all kinds of news. Because all these establishments have commercial nature, they require following a given set of instructions to survive and do business. As a result, there is the introduction of the base which is favorable to the political system and the state which is mandated to license the establishment of the media. This, there is an event version that is partially untrue which is put forth for the public to assimilate. The impacts that the media has on the education system is usually seen through the widespread English use as the primary language of direction. It has become more significant for an individual to show proficiency in the English language for them to excel regarding their profession. This has been mostly facilitated by the fact indicating that many elite institutes of education offer education only by using the English language and they do not admit students who lack English language proficiency. This usually happens to the extent that having adequate knowledge of the English language is considered synonymous with becoming intelligent and educated hence those who lack English skill are generally deemed as being unintelligent and uneducated.

The social constructs of cultural hegemony are usually viewed by the society as beneficial and natural to the entire population, although it is more significant to the group that is dominant. Cultural hegemony works towards replacing the worldview of the majority with the one involving the social class that is ruling (Campbell, & Kean, 2016). Media products that are from the United States have already found their way around the earth starting from the last century. Music, television programs, printed materials and films that are reinforcing and depicting the American culture have become a predominant mass communication form. This has resulted in influencing of individuals across the world in cultural, religious and political matters. When this kind of influence becomes pronounced as a result of the United States media products having to dominate all the domestic industry of mass communication of another country, it is referred to as cultural hegemony. However, a similar influence is not experienced in the United States when there is the importation of the international media into the American industry. Most of the foreign political and cultural meanings are generally replaced with the Americanized thought via dubbing of audio soundtrack and other approaches. This is mainly done for the commercial purposes instead of having any nefarious scheme to protect Americans from coming to learn more about different cultures. Several effects of media which may arise given that hegemony appears in the society may result into different situations. Hegemony may set up circumstances resulting in cognitive dissonance manifesting itself upon citizens. Hegemony may induce a spiral of silence among the citizens in the society. When people possess a dissenting way of viewing form the media leadership or the media owner, they can be motivated it to their self when there are no too many individuals who are feeling safe to express a similar opinion. The setting of agenda may be as an impact of Hegemony. Individuals who are concerned with controlling information flow in a given mass media of the society may set the plan. Since the media products that are from the United States have for a long time become predominant across the globe, several forms of electronic media were established. Many states used to watch films which were produced in America before they created their film industries. Therefore, the cultural hegemony has impacted individuals all over the globe which makes them adopt many ideas of western culture that has the potential of squeezing out of the domestic media as well as supplanting the local customs. The hegemony of the American press may result in capturing of the foreign market and influence the media production economics to the local producers' detriment. In turn, this leads to making of less profit from the media that is produced locally, which may cause less investment in the local product that results in little benefit established by the local media industry. The more popular the American media becomes, the more people from different states are likely to sew them hence they would absorb the American culture.


In conclusion, hegemony is perceived as being synonymous following the quest by America for attaining global dominance. Cultural hegemony works towards replacing the worldview of the majority with the one involving the social class that is ruling. There are several historical examples in America that illustrate the concept of hegemony such as assimilation of Native Americans and the early literature. The traditional metaphor of the melting pot needs to be revised as it does not address issues facing people from different ethnic and cultural background in America. One example of cultural hegemony where you would object to the view of the authors is the view on mass media foundation and its implication on promoting hegemony.

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Campbell, N., & Kean, A. (2016). American cultural studies: an introduction to American culture. Routledge.

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Hegemony and Culture Essay Example. (2022, Jul 28). Retrieved from https://proessays.net/essays/hegemony-and-culture-essay-example

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