Familial Hegemony

Ching Kwan Lee

in Gender and the South China Miracle

Published by University of California Press

Published in print January 1998 | ISBN: 9780520211254
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520920040 | DOI:
Familial Hegemony

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The physical setting aside, life in the Hong Kong plant turned out to be much more relaxed, even playful, than in Shenzhen, despite the much more advanced age of the Hong Kong women workers. Hegemonic managerial domination replaced Shenzhen's despotism, in which control was visible, overtly imposed, and punishment-oriented. Hegemony, as an alternative mode of domination, assumed a different character. According to Antonio Gramsci and later elaborations by Raymond Williams and E. P. Thompson, hegemonic power was a totalizing, lived experience of power relations founded on the dominant class's ability to articulate subordinate classes' interests with its own, and to saturate the commonsensical world with dominant meanings. Control was achieved through the internalized discipline of subordinates, who experienced a certain degree of autonomy and legitimacy in their subjection to domination. However, hegemonic domination was an open, contested, historically transformed process.

Keywords: Hong Kong; Shenzhen; domination; despotism; hegemony; Antonio Gramsci; Raymond Williams; E. P. Thompson; classes; autonomy

Chapter.  9088 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Gender and Sexuality

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