Problematizing Hegemony: Hyperprivileging, Pain, and Theater



A 1994 article by Virginia Dominguez proposes that institutional practices of hyperprivileging minorities do not challenge, but instead reproduce structures of racialization in American society. Minority scholars benefitting from these practices are therefore complicit in the very processes that make them "Other." The classic Gramscian dichotomy of force and consent, however, is inadequate for understanding the complexity of Dominguez's thesis regarding the social construction of minority types. This paper offers an approach to understanding the more complex processes of hegemony that forestall an oversimplified conceptualization of "force" and "consent" by examining the ways in which relations of domination are experienced and negotiated daily by those in positions of subordination. An outline of the psychological implications of "diversity" are explored within a problematized framework of hegemony that highlights the non-homogenized nature of racial opposition to dominant discourses and ideologies. The paper moves beyond the social construction of minority types to explore the performative aspects of minority participation in racializing cultural practices. Minority strategies of acting "as if" point to the potential explanatory power of performance theory within the realm of hegemonic social formations.

Keywords: hyperprivileging, racialization, Gramsci, hegemony, performance

How to Cite: Green, M. (2001) “Problematizing Hegemony: Hyperprivileging, Pain, and Theater”, Arizona Anthropologist. 14(0).