In the publication Black Sexual Politics: African Americans, Gender, and the New Racism, author Patricia Hill Collins, she discusses sexism, gender and the new racism. Collins discusses that heterosexuality operates as a hegemonic ideology that influences human sexuality, racism, and psychological processes (Collins 2004 p.37). This placement of heterosexuality at the top, positions it as the basis of understanding sexuality. For example Collins illustrates that the term sexuality itself is used so synonymously with heterosexuality that schools, churches, and other social institutions treat heterosexuality as natural, normal, and inevitable (Collins 2004 p.37). This in turn facilitates stigmatization of individuals who engage in alternative practices from the social norm and suppresses them under this tiered structure dominated by heterosexuality (Collins 2004 p.37). Hegemonic heterosexuality is not propagated by anyone, but is exclusively utilized by white heterosexual males dictating and distributing social norms that not only stigmatize others but also conditions others to this hegemonic ideology. As this hegemonic ideology flourishes in the American psyche, Collins discusses this three-tiered structure of masculinity and feminity that is perpetuated and redistributed in society as: the new racism.
To better understand Collins central argument of hegemonic ideology, hegemony needs to be defined and understood. Hegemony in Merriam- Webster dictionary is defined as the social, cultural, ideological or economic influence exerted by a dominant group. In analyzing this definition, according to Collins the ideological influences exerted by a dominant group would be wealthy white men placed on the top of the tiere...
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...d by these hegemonic ideologies. We have become conditioned to these understandings and these schemes have become of our social norms greatening the effects of the conditioning. The visuals that are propagated to society continue to press the new racism placing us under the control of the white racial frame. Collins showcased a phenomenon that has permeated our understanding of our self’s and how our thoughts are not essentially our own. Prior to Collins notion of hegemony our groups saw the world as black and white but didn’t understand the social psychological dynamics of these systems that were installed to disrupt and fragment our psychological understandings. Instead of viewing the world as we know it, natural, and as if we discovered it, we are in reality viewing it according to this new racism that is subjecting us to stereotypes and false understandings.
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