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Hegemony

Critical interpretations in anthropology and beyond

Gavin Smith

The popularity of the notion of hegemony in anthropology and cognate disciplines has waxed and waned. The self-censorship of Gramsci's most accessible writings (Selections from the prison notebooks) and the multi-layered nature of his thinking have led to a variety of understandings of the term. Easier to reflect on historically, after the events, than to use for analyses of the present, hegemony is both attractive to intellectuals insofar as it establishes their role in politics and yet prone to vagueness in its application to real life situations. For these reasons perhaps, the notion is now on the wane. Yet before we throw out the baby with the bath water, we need to reflect on precisely how it has been used in social analysis and praxis. This article takes a critical view of those people who have most influenced anthropologists in their understanding of the term and argues that the fetishization of 'culture' has probably done more to mystify the concept than anything else.

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Luke B. Wood

Germany’s increased power capabilities in foreign affairs since reunification have prompted scholars to argue that the country should be viewed as a regional hegemonic power, exercising significant influence not only over smaller countries in Eastern and Southern Europe, but also over the institutions of the European Union. After providing a critical assessment of the literature on hegemony in Europe, this article outlines three main trends in the scholarship on German power in European affairs. First, scholars tend to exaggerate Berlin’s power capabilities relative to other major European states such as France, Italy, and the United Kingdom. Research shows that Europe is best understood as a multipolar regional order, not a hegemonic system dominated by one powerful state. Second, German leadership in Europe is contested and often delegitimized. Since 1949, German political elites have not been able to exercise influence in Europe without the support of other European states. This remains true even after the collapse of the Franco-German “tandem” in the wake of the European debt crisis. Third, scholars fail to adequately address how American power in the North Atlantic impacts regional polarity. Since reunification, the role of the United States in Europe has only increased and American influence over Eastern Europe, in particular, surpasses that of other European powers, including Germany.

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Francesco Maria Scanni and Francesco Compolongo

-reaching renovation of their respective political and democratic systems, but have distinguished themselves from each other through their differing approaches to economic and social policy. Our work adopts the Gramscian notions of hegemony, Bonapartism, passive

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Challenging Hegemonic Patriarchy

A Feminist Reading of Arab Shakespeare Appropriations

Safi M. Mahfouz

's drama constitutes an accurate depiction of British Renaissance patriarchal hegemony. Although Shakespeare presents realistic gender stereotypes in Elizabethan society, at times he presents female characters who challenge the norms and values of such a

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From the “state-idea” to “politically organized subjection”

Revisiting Abrams in times of crisis in Turkey and EU-Europe

Katharina Bodirsky

anthropology wants to gain a deeper understanding of the contradictions of statehood and inequalities today. My first suggestion here is that we pay closer attention to current dynamics in hegemony-building strategies, and thus to concretize Abrams’s interest

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Groped and Gutted

Hollywood's Hegemonic Reimagining of Counterculture

Samantha Eddy

issue, I confront the dangerous and creative capacity of the hegemonic imagination. My research reveals the adaptive capacity of hegemonic media and its ability to co-opt alternative cinema, which might otherwise challenge its norms. Literature

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“The Dragon Can't Roar”

Analysis of British Expatriate Masculinity in Yusuf Dawood's One Life Too Many

Antony Mukasa Mate

British community. Thus, he enjoys the privileges of the hegemonic class, which include securing a highly lucrative job with attractive perks. Walker later marries his childhood sweetheart Anna, and the couple settles down in Kenya. However, after Kenya

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First as Tragedy, Then as Teleology

The Politics/People Dichotomy in the Ethnography of Post-Yugoslav Nationalization

Stef Jansen

an even worse fate, and on the other hand, teleologically, as catalysts for the unfolding of History. What could have been told as personal tragedy, was cast as national teleology. Hegemony and the Politics/People Dichotomy as Etic Framework These

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Free from State Violence or Free to Comply?

A Revised Typology of Coercion and Repression in Liberal Democracies

Barbora Capinska

argue, the elimination of violence should not be regarded as freedom from coercion. Drawing on poststructuralist discourse theory, the study further introduces a concept of hegemonic coercion and repression providing support for an argument that all

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Johannes Fabian

These comments—made originally in my role as discussant for the panel in Ljubljana—address the recent history of the question of world anthropologies and identify three issues for further critical debate: (1) hegemonic claims concerning our discipline (including the issue of hegemony within our discipline), (2) the difference between power and authority, and (3) reasons that alterity continues to be a crucial concept in post-colonial anthropology.