Pub. date: 2010 | Online Pub. Date: May 06, 2010 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412958660 | Print ISBN: 9781412958653 | Online ISBN: 9781412958660| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Customarily, hegemony is used in association with its dictionary meaning of supremacy. A hegemonic group is understood as a powerful group that exercises its dominion over others against their will. This view is antithetical to the meaning of hegemony as originally suggested by Antonio Gramsci. Hegemony involves force, but it is used minimally and at the last resort; and when force is exercised, it is applied with the consent of the ruled. Others use the term in a context of international relations in which multiple nation-states are involved. In this case, a nation-state is considered to be hegemonic when it implements a disproportionate amount of cultural, economic, and political power over others. Again in its Gramscian sense, hegemony is possible when certain international conditions commence. However, Gramsci used the term to refer to relations between social groups within a nation-state in which a dominant class creates a “historic bloc” under ...