AS Communication and Culture
Domination of a culturally diverse society by
the ruling class (the elite) through consent, not
The elite are our ruling society and they
dominate our culture in the UK
This means you could class the UK as having a
Hegemony as Process
The key to hegemony is how the elite create the
rules of society as well as what is considered
‘common sense’ such as going to school,
wanting to earn a lot of money etc.
The problem is that the lower classes follow
these aspirations even though they are not
What class do you think you are?
Write down what class you think you are. If you
are not sure discuss with someone.
So the elite promote their own values rather
than representing the needs and views of all the
people in their culture.
One example is how the media promotes the
elite and its values. E.g. Capitalism, Christianity
One aspect of hegemony its how it effects the
aspirations and reality of a lower class. Many
people are told to desire objects that cost a lot
of money more than the basics they need so
they can reach elite status (e.g. clothing labels,
big TV, gadgets etc) but this is a lie as the elite
control society in a way that prevents a lot of
those people from reaching those goals.
Can you think of other ways the elite tell us what to do or what is important in society?
Racial superiority of Caucasians
The value of money and status
Money can buy you the best – education, healthcare etc.
Education is essential to social progression
Morals and Values of behaviour – drinking, drug taking
Importance of London as focus for culture.
A lot of illegal drugs are only illegal because the elite do not own the means of production and they couldn’t make as much money.
Going to a private school will help you get a top job as if the owners are elite they will favour the elite as employees. This stops the lower classes from accessing powerful roles in society.
Most businesses and labels that seem to favour the lower classes are owned by the elite e.g. Iceland, Poundland etc.
One process of limiting revolution is distracting the public and convincing them that politics is not that important or is about entertainment and slogans rather than policies. This helps stop any revolution through democracy by the lower classes.
One key way of telling society who is good or bad is through representation .e.g. teenagers are trouble, immigrants are to blame, each race is different rather than included etc. This helps the elite to maintain their power by demonising others.
How do they do it?
The elite maintain control through the
promotion of their values but a key to this is the
economic process of Capitalism.
If the elite own the means of production they
take control of the messages sent out e.g. the
Read the article on the elite in top professions.
Note down some key points, including statistics,
and say; Are you happy about this or do you
think it is unfair?
Why don’t people rebel against hegemony
and take on the elite?
1 - Write down your ideas
2 - What do you feel should be included more in
3 - How could we better represent our ethnically
diverse country better?
A key way to send out hegemonic messages is
through the media.
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