(437 words)

Literary/ Cultural Context Essay

  • The Literary Encyclopedia. Volume 12: Global Voices, Global Histories: World Literatures and Cultures.

From the Greek for ‘authority’ or leader, the term hegemony usually signifies the dominance of one state over another, whether this dominance is acceded to and is therefore formal, or is the consequence of arbitrary imposition. Examples would be the hegemony which Prussia extended over north German states after 1871, and the hegemony which China currently extends over Mongolia and Tibet.

Hegemony received particular prominence in cultural theory following the postwar publication of the Prison Notebooks written by Antonio Gramsci in 1926-37 whilst he was imprisoned by the Italian fascists. In these notebooks – published in English in 1971 – Gramsci addressed a fundamental problem in Marxist thought: why d…

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Clark, Robert. "Hegemony". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 01 November 2001; last revised 07 February 2005.
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/stopics.php?rec=true&UID=501, accessed 30 June 2015.]