Hegemony In Patricia Hill Collins

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Hegemony Paper #2 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…show more content…
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 tiered structure. The tiered structure can be better understood when talking about hegemonic masculinity and hegemonic femininity, yet to be able to connect these ideas the history of hegemony needs to be explained. Hegemony comes from the Italian Communist Antonio Gramsci. According to Gramsci, hegemony correlates to ideological dominance. Ideological dominance does not mean physical power, but the dominance of ideas. Gramsci was troubled by how the upper class got into the minds of the lower classes, making a way through their minds to believe in their ideas. For example Collins elaborates this ideology by expressing how white Americans have socio control over Blacks beyond the plantation. Even though a black male might no longer be enslaved, his plantation mentality is still controlled. Gramsci states that we have been conditioned by our language to think and feel about thinking in particular ways that serve the purpose of those who implemented those ideologies developing into the “dominant ideology.” What this means is that since slavery, male and female black slaves have been conditioned to think that the purpose of them being is to be slaves, because the only way in controlling social order in capitalist society is with force and inferiority. Through such conditions and ideologies it is believed that it works to keep Black men and Black women centralized on blaming each other for the problems. This in turn allows for a more cohesive understanding of hegemony and will further explain Collins’s central argument of this hegemonic ideology and the functions of

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