Are you guilty of making hegemonic assumptions?

Hegemony: noun \hi-ˈje-mə-nē, he-jə-ˌmō-nē\. heg·e·mon·ic adjective  Political or cultural dominance or authority over others.

For example:

“The hegemony of the popular kids over the other students means that they determine what is and is not cool.”

I lived most of my life neither knowing this word nor saying it out loud until my daughter Larissa was working on a sociology paper at university on something called “hegemonic assumptions”.   

Here’s how these assumptions might look: when white, middle-class people of privilege start thinking we understand what it’s like to live in poverty because we spend one afternoon every Christmas volunteering at an inner city soup kitchen, we’re making a whack of hegemonic assumptions.
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Selling healthy nutrition: what the experts just don’t get

Earth to Cleveland Clinic: under no circumstances is a bowl of oatmeal (even one as photogenic as this one featured on your Twitter feed) a “swap” for bacon.

The only possible swap for bacon is another piece of bacon. Turkey bacon is NOT bacon. Those dreadful soy protein veggie bacon-bits are NOT bacon. And a bowl of oatmeal is most certainly NOT bacon.  The only bacon product worth eating is real bacon. Period.   Continue reading

Liberation wrapper lets Japanese women open wide

Freshness Burger, a national burger chain in Japan, came up with an innovative way to convince reluctant female customers to take a great big bite of the chain’s biggest burger. For Japanese women, having a small and modest mouth – “ochobo” – is regarded as attractive, and having a large, open mouth in public is regarded as “ugly” and “rude”. It’s considered good manners to cover one’s mouth when women need to open up wide. Enter the Liberation Wrapper – and it worked – boosting sales of that big burger by 213% compared to the previous month’s sales after introduction at Freshness Burger.

A grateful hat tip to Sociological Images for this unique cultural marketing example.
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