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Market and ThoughtMeditations on the Political and Biopolitical$
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Brett Levinson

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780823223848

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: March 2011

DOI: 10.5422/fso/9780823223848.001.0001

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Subalternity and Common Sense

(p.19) 1. Gramsci
Market and Thought

Brett Levinson

Fordham University Press

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

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