the processes by which dominant culture maintains its dominant position,
not only through political and economic control, but through the ability of the dominant class
to project its own way of seeing the world so that those who are subordinated by it accept it
as 'common sense' and 'natural.'
Picnic Scene/Mad Men
Which parts of this scene still seemed to make "common sense" in our culture? Which parts violate our sense of common sense?
This assignment challenges you to identify some seemingly "normal" and
"common sense" narratives in our culture, and then identify them as hegemonic.
You will be assigned one of the following cultural (hegemonic) practices in our society:
- Christmas present purchasing
- American football (HS, College, NFL) and the Superbowl
- Lawn care
- One's name/identity after marriage
- Eating meat
- Cars as a form of transportation
- College-age drinking
- Wedding preparations (you can also think about Homecoming + Prom)
- Catholic priests
A. How would you describe our culture's dominant way of experiencing this cultural practice?
What are the social expectations? How does our culture tell us over and over, through family "tradition," religious institutions, school, community, and THE MEDIA, how we are "supposed" to carry out this practice in our society? What is the common sense narrative? How does gender, race, class, and possibly other religions, play into these narratives?
B. Which groups benefit from the common sense narrative? How do they benefit? After class, feel free to do some additional outside reading on this one.
C.What are some alternatives to doing what we are "supposed" to do? Are some of these alternative narratives beginning to go against these hegemonic practices? In what ways? And how is the dominant narrative fighting back?
1. Elexia San Nicols & Remo James
2. Kyle (Lam Ngyuen), Marco Perla & Abigail Rollins
3. Monica Dhumne, Leah Declerck, Sophia Grow
4. Ryan Hansen, Reagan Saul, Julian Swayzer
5. Jenna Valenti, Holly Vonehwegen, Kayla Story
6. Julia Segebarth, Bri Kalous, James Prier
7. Madison Watland, Reese Stolte, Esmeralda Nuhanovic
8. Calvin Mingus, Stephanie "Stevie" Wallace, Haddie Carlson
9. Dan Kelly & Baylee Heath