Teaching Hegemony- Sociological Perspectives



First years don’t like theory, or rather they often think they don’t like theory.

I refer to theory as building blocks, lego if you please, that are used to contruct their own arguments and critiques. The blocks can be played with, pulled at, and put back together then re-arranged. You have to know about all the blocks that are available and understand how they can be used, but you don’t have to like each one, or agree with it. You can use the lego blocks in a new way, or change how you use them.


Blocks can be built up; you don’t have to ‘know everything’ or be overwhelmed. I am very interested in how people learn, and being in recovery from M.E I am well-versed in breaking everything down into bite-size chunks or I feel like I am drowning.

Theory modules can frighten students or merely disinterest them, they think theory is ‘boring’ (despite engaging with it in other modules).

This week’s lecture is on Neo-Marxism, Gramsci & Power, and instead of a set reading, the students are to watch this film: We Are Legion: Story of the Hacktivists.


Another recommendation for students who have access to Netflix is Bowling for Columbine. I would recommend Bowling for Columbine to all students in sociology considering issues on race, moral panics, state crime, media constructions of deviance, hegemony, dissent, exclusion, the list goes on.

For those without Netflix: Bowling For Columbine Marilyn Manson clip.

What I loved about being a Sociology undergraduate was how the world opened up to me in a new way. Theory is a tool for exploration and can be fun.

Other great media resources for discussion are Noam Chomsky’s Manufacturing Dissent

Noam Chomsky on the Occupy movement

Anonymous versus Bank of America

Anonymous message to the UK government

Russell Brand versus Jon Snow on drugs

Russell Brand versus Jeremy Paxman

The Spirit Level: Why Equality is Better for All of Us

Theory is fun!