Hegemony Blog

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I am a very busy college student so I do not get to watch T.V. too often or listen to the radio, etc. But I do like to keep up with latest news, fashion, celebrity gossip, etc. So, when I am actively seeking to consume media, I usually find hegemonic media then search for the counterhegemonic message. However, I mainly find the former. I usually go online to watch everything from my favorite shows, (How I Met Your Mother) to watching the news online, and anything else. My guilty pleasure is Worldstar Hip Hop, which has some very cool/crazy/bizarre videos. While I am searching for the latest news or watching shows, which would mainly be hegemonic media, I always want to find out who is playing Devil's Advocate or who is against it. For example, recently, I watched the Miss Universe Pageant that was hosted in Sao Paulo, Brazil. As I was watching it, I thought to myself, wow these women are such great role models. They are so goal-oriented, they've got great stage presence, they want to improve the lives of others and they are all so gorgeous! That's the hegemonic message that the producers wanted people to think. However, soon enough, I found plenty of arguments of how the show was racist and all the women that were in the pageant had "western" features. Which basically said all the women, even though they were from different countries, had similar features to a white girl. The Asians, Africans, Latinas didn't look ethnic enough and many contestants weren't even born or don't even reside in the countries they represented. There were also speculations of Miss China being favored by one of the judges because she was seen having dinner with him a few days earlier. But I suppose, the pageant is sort of like a reality T.V. show, and you've always got to question, is it really real? However, there will never be a beauty pageant with "ugly", uneducated girls, which would be counterhegemonic to the Miss Universe Pageant.

I use hegemonic and counterhegemonic media for my own guilty pleasures and entertainment. No matter how much I don't want to fall for hegemonic messages, I've got to admit, it does make money and money makes the world go around. I love listening to all types of music, hegemonic or not. I think if you can't beat it, join it or utilize it to your own advantage. However, you should not lose a sense of who you are or who you want to be.

In the media I consume, the main theologies I see are that of the American Dream. People want to see the classic Cinderella story because many can relate to that. For example, LeBraun James was an ultimate icon for his city. He joined the Cavaliers right out of high school. It was where he grew up and he had the whole state of Ohio on his side. People wanted to see him to stay in Ohio and take a win for his hometown. However, when he decided to join the Miami heat, many people were against him and it was like he went against his own. LeBraun James is a counterhegemonic example of that type of hero that people wanted to see. And let's face it, when it comes down to the final game, he doesn't have the ability for the clutch to win it all, as a Cavalier or with the Heat. ;)


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Nice post, Chua. Thanks for mentioning WSHH--looks like an awesome site!
Also, very good analysis on the Miss Universe pageant. I notice this too in mainstream hip hop that women of color artists tend to "whiten" as they get more popular (ahem, Beyonce).
Interesting look into James and his counterhegemonic approach in basketball. It is always fun to track the athletes who refuse to fit into the hegemonic narrative (Ocho Cinco, Dennis Rodman, etc).

Hi Chua, I totally agree with your statements about the Miss Universe Pageant. I found myself the other day hypnotized watching the interviews of the Miss Universe Pageant girls on Youtube. I was thinking to myself, wow, these girls are very brave and beautiful. They are graceful and look great. But then I started thinking about the different ideas regarding beauty. What is beauty? How is it interpreted in each country represented in the pageant. I know that in some African tribes, beauty means being physically heavier because it means that your family have greater wealth. I started thinking about Lull's article describing hegemony as a "social consent" meaning that it is always changing depending on the society you are in. The definition of beauty is a type of hegemony within a culture and it too is always changing, even within the same society. What is beautiful today does not equal what was beautiful 20 years ago, or even 10 years ago.

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This page contains a single entry by xiong891 published on September 16, 2011 4:16 PM.

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