Brett Levinson

in Market and Thought

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print December 2004 | ISBN: 9780823223848
Published online March 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823235421 | DOI:

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This chapter examines certain trends in contemporary political thought through an analysis of Antonio Gramsci's work. Three components of his work have spearheaded a recent resurgence in Gramscian studies: (1) his examination of how cultural representations and institutions of civil society shape social realities; (2) his formulation of the “subaltern”; and (3) his notion of the “organic intellectual”. His work demonstrates that when culture emerges from a civil society that is a reflection of the state, it often produces oppressive hierarchies through its representations, creating actual material realities. It also demonstrates that these hierarchies can be “deconstructed” because they are cultural constructs rather than truths, and that novel understandings of the social, through the inventions of the organic intellectual, or through ones that are emitted from a subaltern space, are possible, and already operative as forces that upset the neoliberal consensus.

Keywords: Gramsci; common sense; subaltern; language; hierarchies; neoliberal consensus; organic intellectual

Chapter.  6829 words. 

Subjects: Social and Political Philosophy

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