THIRTEEN

Antonio Gramsci (1891–1937): Hegemony in Civil Society as a Basis of the Modern State

Gramsci was born in Sardinia in 1891 in a lower-middle-class family. Sardinia is an island in the Mediterranean Sea, located between Spain and Italy; at that time, Sardinia, as most of southern Italy, had a backward economy primarily based on agriculture. The Sard society has been described as ‘superstitious’ and ‘fatalistic’; the largely peasant population of the island was looked down upon by the urban inhabitants of northern Italy. Gramsci himself suffered at the hands of his fellow Sardinians. He had an accident when he was four years old—he fell down from a maid’s arms and as a result developed into a hunchback: for his Sardinian neighbours, “his ...

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