The concept of hegemony media studies
The aim of this study is to critically consider the uses of the concept of hegemony within the media studies. By doing this, this work intends to think about the possibility of a different use of the concept hegemony which is more dialectical than the uses in the media field, by turning directly to Antonio Gramsci, the most well-known theorist of hegemony.
The concept of hegemony has obtained an important place in media studies since 1960’s and 1970’s. The interest in hegemony arises mostly in the field of cultural studies. Such that cultural studies is commemorated with Gramscianism. The commemoration of cultural studies within Gramscianism is substantiated with Stuart Hall and his theory of articulation which is derived from Gramsci as well as Althusser and Laclau. Hall, in his own words, is in a search of “Marxism without guarantees” (Hall, 2005a). Gramsci was the main figure that Hall benefited for overcoming the question of reductionism and economism. According to Hall, Gramsci’s importance for British Cultural Studies is precisely the degree to which he radically displaced some of the inheritances of Marxism in cultural studies. Hall insists that “The radical character of Gramsci’s ‘displacement’ of Marxism has not yet been understood” (Hall, 2005b: 265-266). One of the assertions of this work is that there is a fundamental epistemological and methodological differences between Hall’s structuralism-oriented approach and Gramsci’s dialectical approach; and these differences lead to abandoning he wholistic aspects about media by cultural studies, and a solely culturalist or eclectic interpretation of hegemony.
To examine this assertion the fundamental works of Hall and other cultural studies theorists will be analysed in comparison with Gramsci’s epistemological and methodological standpoints. By thinking with the terms hegemony, hegemonic apparatus and translatability whether we can theorize media as a part of the hegemonic apparatus will be discussed and if so how this conception differentiates from other approaches in media and cultural studies will be analysed. For the purposes of this study, an argument on the relationship between the dialectical approach of Antonio Gramsci and Marxist dialectic will be contained.
Hall,Stuart (2005a). “The Problem of Ideology: Marxism without guarantees”, Stuart Hall-Critical Dialogues in Cultural Studies. Ed. David Morley ve Kuan-Hsing Chen. Taylor & Francis e-Library. pp. 24-45.
Hall, Stuart (2005b). “Cultural studies and its theoretical legacies, Stuart Hall-Critical Dialogues in Cultural Studies. Ed. David Morley ve Kuan-Hsing Chen. Taylor & Francis e-Library. pp. 261-274.