To resort to the concept of cultural hegemony is to take a banal question-“who has power?”-and deepen it at both ends. The “who” includes parents, preachers, teachers, journalists, literati, “experts” of all sorts, as well as advertising executives, entertainment promoters, popular musicians, sports figures, and “celebrities”-all of whom are involved (albeit often unwittingly) in shaping the values and attitudes of a society. The “power” includes cultural as well as economic and political power-the power to help define the boundaries of common-sense “reality” either by ignoring views outside those boundaries or by labeling deviant opinions “tasteless” or “irresponsible.
The Concept of Cultural Hegemony: Problems and Possibilities
T. J. Jackson Lears