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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An open letter to mobile health app developers and their funders

UPDATE:  This guest post by the late Dr. Jessie Gruman was originally published on the Center for Advancing Health’s Prepared Patient blog in February, 2013. CFAH was founded by Jessie, the author of AfterShock, a book that helps patients navigate their way through the health care system following a serious or life-threatening diagnosis.

As a patient, writer and respected advocate, she sent this open letter to the tech hypemeisters of Silicon Valley.

I hope they’re paying attention.

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