Questions and Definitions

It is my thesis that online communication is the most potent medium for furthering hegemony yet invented, based on its large capacity for swift, multimedia feedback channels. Following are a couple of questions and several definitions — distilled from my literature review — that guided my research.

Theoretical question:
How does online communication mediate the relationship between power and culture?

Research question:
Which variables best predict the usage of hegemony online?

Hegemony:
An iterative process whereby people in power deepen their dominance by using culture to negotiate for the consent of the subjugated.

Counterhegemony:
An alternative process whereby people attempt to gain dominant power by countering, co-opting and compromising dominant culture. It is not the opposite of hegemony; it is merely someone else's hegemony — one that has not yet become dominant.

Pluralism:
The sharing of power among groups in society. It is the opposite of hegemony and counterhegemony.

Hegemony online:
A cybernetic process whereby people in power deepen their dominance by using online communication to negotiate for the consent of the subjugated.

Cybernetic:
A system that uses continuous feedback to control and progressively correct unsatisfactory actions.

Ideology:
Culture directed by power; i.e., the culture favored and manufactured by society's dominant coalition.

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