School of
Social Sciences
___Introduction to Sociology
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Antonio Gramsci

 

"The supremacy of a social group manifests itself in two ways, as 'domination' and as 'intellectual and moral leadership'. A social group dominates antagonistic groups...it leads kindred and allied groups. A social group can, and indeed must, already exercise 'leadership' before winning governmental power"
(Selections from the Prison Notebooks, 1971)

"Hegemony means the ideological subordination of the working class by the bourgeoisie, which enables it to rule by consent" - (Perry Anderson, New Left Review, 1977)

"Gramsci remains essential reading for anyone concerned with the relationships between rulers and ruled, leaders and led, in democratic movements and political systems. Gramsci's work...explores various aspects of power; firstly, the concept of hegemony, and secondly, the nature of intellectuals and their role in organised political struggle."
(Joseph Buttigieg, International Gramsci Society Newsletter, 1994)

Introduction To Gramsci  
Class Notes On Gramsci (External Link)  

Disorganised political struggle, if they're like most intellectuals I know. In fact, why don't we drop this struggle thing and go off down the pub? Sociology in general, and Marxist sociology in particular, has always suffered from that division between 'the political' and everything else people do in their lives. The former is taken seriously as conscious, formal, organised activity, the rest dismissed as ideology, irrelevant superstructural activity.

It was Gramsci who first took seriously the myriad of day to day activities engaged in by the mass of people. Going to church, reading the paper, watching TV, shopping, all these activities are suffused with choices partly made, partly forced by political constraints. They are essentially political activities in the broad sense that they contribute to the formation of social life, and are affected deeply by socio-political forces.




These pages were originally written by: Angus Bancroft and Sioned Rogers
Redesigned and updated by: Pierre Stapley - 2010