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PosthegemonyPolitical Theory and Latin America$
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Jon Beasley-Murray

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780816647149

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816647149.001.0001

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Argentina 1972: Cultural Studies and Populism

Argentina 1972: Cultural Studies and Populism

(p.15) 1 Argentina 1972: Cultural Studies and Populism

Jon Beasley-Murray

University of Minnesota Press

This chapter examines hegemony theory and cultural studies, with particular emphasis on their shared populism. It begins by defining and historicizing the field of cultural studies before turning to the Argentine theorist Ernesto Laclau and the development of his hegemony theory, suggesting that it simply mimics the logic of populism. It then considers the relationship between populism and the state by focusing on Argentina to show how both hegemony theory and cultural studies repeat the populist sleight of hand in which a purported anti-institutionalism in fact enables the state apparently to disappear. It argues that hegemony stands in for politics, and screens off the ways in which states anchor social order through habituation, under the guise of a fictional social contract. It also offers an alternative account of the Argentine Peronism from which Laclau’s theory arises.

Keywords:   hegemony theory, cultural studies, populism, Ernesto Laclau, state, Argentina, politics, social order, social contract, Peronism

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