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Optimism of the intellect? hegemony and hope

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Abstract:

An exploration of sources for hope in Antonio Gramsci's work, arguing for an 'optimism of the intellect' - for theories and concrete studies that map out a more hopeful future, yet ground strategy in realist historical analysis. It emphasises the importance of a deeper understanding of how political settlements are constructed, maintained and undermined, and of the terrain on which we operate: analysing civil society as a site of multiple forms of contestation can open up ideas about what politics is and where it is to be found, and suggest ways in which a new culture could be created. In Britain today people - especially young people - are better educated than ever before, and are thus more able to be critical, non-conformist and creative. Aspiration can be social as well as individual, and there is plenty of good sense to be found in popular culture alongside its more commercial side. The real question is how to articulate all this potential into a political project.

Keywords: CIVIL SOCIETY; COMMON SENSE; GOOD SENSE; GRAMSCI; HOPE; MATERIALISM

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3898/136266213807298970

Publication date: July 22, 2013

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