Hegemonic culture is a form of dominant ideology coined by Antonio Gramsci, which was influenced by Marxist thinking about ideologies back in capitalism society. Hegemony is the political, cultural, ideological or economic impact that the ruling class propagates and manipulates other subordinate groups to believe and accept. They had intellectuals and media producers from important institutions like law, education, government media (TV, radio, newspapers…) reproduce the dominant ideas. However, these ideas are not static, they will change over time.
Hegemony was a way for the upper class to maintain their control on power over working class in the past, but now, hegemony still exists but concepts have been changed to fit in the new society. From my perspectives, hegemony power is more likely to be present more widespread in the developing countries than developed countries. For examples, in Vietnam, we have many media companies but only the Vietnam Television (VTV), which is the national TV broadcaster, has a huge influence on people’s lives. Because it is funded by the government, the news often shows strong support for the governmental policy. Regarding other media channels/websites, the most popular contents are scandals and racist images about women and celebrities. Male dominance ideology still affects heavily on Vietnamese people’s mindset. We do not see many women hold high positions in the government system. Patriotism is also another problem, we are not allowed to publish or post rebellious, insults or any harms about government even when they make unreasonable policies. People don’t have any chance to speak up what they want and any types of protests are strictly forbidden. Politicians don’t listen to citizens’ desires and only developed their own values into social norms, tried to turn them into ‘common sense’ in order to benefit themselves and gain ultimate power so they can keep their control and continue to exploit normal people. Therefore, we can still see inequalities between men and women, huge gap between upper class and lower class, marriage and family ideologies, female representation…Of course, during the discussion with Dr. Denisova, no one is free from ideologies – not only developing countries but also the rest of the world are still living under pressure of the society and heavily affected by those dominant ideologies in some extent. However, we now see some changes in certain ideologies, for example, clothing, men can wear dresses and we can see many unisex collections on runway in big fashion show events, women started to take over men’s jobs. Or same-sex marriage is allowed in America, and there are fewer discriminations and stereotypes on black people, LGBT community… then it used to be. Humans now are challenging mainstream ideologies and trying to reproduce their own ideas that are about making them free from this stressful world and having the chance to be themselves, becoming the ‘identities’ they want to be, not the ones that society tries to shape and force them to be.
Even though these are just small steps from the beginning of the big process but we have witnessed some amazing differences have been accepted and hopefully, in the future, people do not have to face inequalities that have already been promoted for such long time by media representation.
Below is a very inspiring video that I and Kiyo wanted to show you guys last presentation about how marriage ideology has changed so beautifully and positively.