Cultural Hegemony

Topics: Talk radio, Talk show, Radio formats Pages: 2 (530 words) Published: November 13, 2011

Hegemony is “the power or dominance that one social group holds over others” (Lull, 33). This definition from James Lull in Chapter 4 of Gender, Race, and Class in Media proves to be the simplest explanation of the word. Put even more simply, hegemony is the use of societal influence by a dominating group in society to oppress a weaker group, or to influence societal norms in their favor. Examples of cultural hegemony are noticeable all throughout our society today, as well as in our book. It is exemplified in Chapter 35, which shows the relationship of the pimp and hoe in hip-hop culture. The male is the masculine figure that socially dominates the females. Author Tricia Rose says that the male pimps of the hip-hop culture treat women with the attitude that “women are bitches, and bitches are whores and prostitutes” (Pg. 321). In addition to this example, there is one other example in the book that stands out. “When in Rome” by David Nylund has an article about a topic very near and dear to my heart: sports; and more specifically, sports talk shows. Jim Rome is one of the most prominent figures in sports talk and has a nationally syndicated radio talk show, and a show on ESPN. Rome is promoted as a brash, loud, and opinionated straight talker. More accurately, however, Rome merely yells and degrades homosexuals and women. It is important to analyze the audience that listens to talk radio. “Talk radio is aimed at a very desirable demographic: White middle-class men between the ages of 24 and 55 years. Research shows that talk radio listeners are overwhelmingly men who tend to vote Republican” (Nylund, 172). This is important because with the deregulation of the radio in the 1980’s, and the subsequent capitalization of the radio that followed, it was important to please your listeners, as they could always go elsewhere. This was, and still is, shown on conservative talk radio, where one side of any store is only ever told, and conservatives are always...
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