Matt Kohler:

RQ – What is it like for a member of a minority to grow up in a society in which hegemonic media practices are embedded in popular culture?

One of the things that struck me from reading McConachie’s contribution to Introduction to Cognitive Cultural Studies was the idea that cultural hegemony is a powerful tool in regard to agenda setting and societal control.  The concept of a culture being dominated by non-militaristic means is a powerful and seemingly covert way of inserting the views of a dominant group into the mainstream.  When the status quo is goes unquestioned, the dominant “historical bloc” seems to have the advantage, particularly in the absence of what Gramsci called “organic intellectuals”.

It seems logical that members outside the dominant culture should be more sensitive to the hegemonic practices of the mass media and allow opportunities for organic intellectuals to recognize the practice of hegemony.  Thus, minorities in a dominant group conceivably have a much different view of the media they consume compared to their historical bloc counterparts.

The research question stated above is meant to qualitatively address the lived experiences of a minority member growing up in a culture where the hegemony may be more obvious compared to members of the historical bloc.  Interviewing focus groups would allow for a purposeful sample of subjects who have lived in such an environment.  One issue that would arise in such a study would be phenomenological reduction on the part of the researcher, particularly if the researcher is part of the historical bloc in which the minority subjects are exposed to.  It would be foreseeable difficulty in removing one’s own premonitions to the dominant culture, especially if during the interviews the subjects report examples not fathomed by the researcher.

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