By Francoise Grellet
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Additional resources for A Cultural Guide Anglais : Précis culturel des pays du monde anglophone
Hegemony refers to the way in which the consent of the subordinate classes to their domination is achieved: this is both a struggle and a process and it is never permanent: It is a set of meanings and values which as they are experienced as practices appear as reciprocally confirming. It thus constitutes a sense of reality for most people in society, a sense of absolute because experienced reality beyond which it is very difficult for most members of the society to move, in most areas of their lives' (Williams, 1980, p.
But whatever we receive from society, we hold in common with our companions. So it is not at all true that we are more personal as we are more individualised (The Elementary Forms of the Religious Life, pp. 271-2: Durkheim, 1971). Fundamental to social reality for Durkheim are classification systems, ways of ordering, arranging and making sense of things. He was particularly interested in dichotomies or binary concepts. Theoretical and Methodological Issues 33 For example the 'sacred' is what the 'profane' (the everyday) is not, women are what men are not, cold is the opposite to hot, and so on.
Psychology and psychiatry have played a part in constructing ideas of perversion. For example, Foucault argues that the category of homosexuality appeared as a 'psychological, psychiatric, medical category' around the 1870s. The homosexual 'became a personage, a past, a case history, and a childhood, in addition to being a type of life, a life form' (Foucault, 1979, pp. 43-4). Later in the same book he suggests that this very construction of a homosexual identity made it possible for homosexuality to begin to speak on its own behalf.
A Cultural Guide Anglais : Précis culturel des pays du monde anglophone by Francoise Grellet