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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Explaining Consensual Domination: Moving Beyond the Concept of Hegemony

  • Author(s): Kollmeyer, Christopher J.
  • et al.

This essay addresses the growing trend among working class voters in the United States to support political causes that seemingly undermine their class interests. In particular, it offers a theoretical critique of "hegemony," the standard Marxist explanation for this phenomenon, by showing that other social dynamics, such as "mass ignorance" and "collective misunderstanding," must also be taken into consideration. The resulting explanation demonstrates that, under certain circumstances, average people may employ rational means to achieve irrational political ends.

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