I found our class discussion on the term “hegemony” to be very interesting. Some useful starting terms that served to build towards an actual definition were “oppressed accepts the imposition of values of the dominant group” and “coercion” (Moonsammy, 2018). At first, I considered that the term “coercion” was too pejoratively connoted to be used to describe hegemony, but after we were given a legitimate definition of the term, my understanding was enriched. Hegemony was defined as a “process by which subordinated groups internalize the value system of the dominant group” and that “after dominance is gained, this process is rethought.”
Moreover, this definition was paired with the idea of “givers” and “takers.” Initially, I was unclear on how these ideas were connected with the term hegemony. However, after looking back at my notes, I found the Baronov and Yelvington reading to be extremely useful in unpacking denotations. The definition of the term “mestizaje-créolité” helped me understand the idea of givers and takers. Mestizaje-créolité is defined the concept that those groups that gave the most in the past are now the most privileged (Baronov and Yelvington 240). This term was a little confusing to me, after realizing that all of these terms connect with the term multiculturalism, terms became comprehensible.
Multiculturalism is defined as a term which embraces all peoples while emphasizing the important contribution, and the importance of maintaining each individual cultural identity (246). The result of this embrace is a reverse hierarchy, where the subjugated are seen as the “givers” or those that contribute most to the nation, while the “takers” are viewed in a negative light. Nonetheless, the ultimate question becomes: how can one prove that they are a giver or a taker, and how is it possible for a subordinate group to make any decision based on entitlement to resources when dominant groups set the parameters within which the subordinates operate?
Baronov, David, and Kevin A. Yelvington. “Ethnicity, Race, Class, and Nationality,” in Understanding the Contemporary Caribbean, edited by Richard S. Hillman and Thomas J. D’Agostino, 226-40. 2nd ed. (Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner Publishers, Inc., 2009)
van Leeuwaarde Moonsammy, Patricia. “Post-Colonization.” Lecture, Dickinson College, Carlisle, PA, February 27, 2018.