• Gramsci′s Common Sense: Inequality and Its Narratives

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    Pages: 240
    Illustrations: 6 photographs
    Sales/Territorial Rights: World
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  • Preface  ix

    Abbreviations  xv

    Part I. Subalternity, Intellectuals, and Common Sense

    1. Subalternity  3

    2. Intellectuals  18

    3. Common Sense  43

    4. What Subalterns Know  59

    Part II. Case Studies

    5. Adam Smith: A Bourgeois, Organic Intellectual?  81

    6. The Common Sense of the Tea Party  118

    7. Common Sense, Good Sense, and Occupy  146

    Conclusion. Reading Gramsci in the Twenty-First Century  184

    Bibliography  199

    Index  207
  • "Kate Crehan’s new book on Antonio Gramsci’s work is an astute and accessible text that attempts to connect his ideas to current events in the United States. Staying true to the Gramscian spirit, Crehan spends the first four chapters contextualizing both his life and his work in order to show how his ideas evolved. Crehan then spends several chapters showing why these ideas remain useful in today’s world; as Gramsci would have wanted, knowledge should be used for social change, not for the sake of knowing alone. What is most striking about the book is the lucid and engaging way in which Crehan writes."

    "[Crehan] offers a clear path for thinking about political world views on the American Left and Right that seem at odds with each other and with rational expectations. . . . Though providing a detailed interrogation of the historiography of Marxism and culture is not Crehan's main goal, her book is an excellent pathway into this rich scholarly tradition that brings into focus the intellectual underpinnings of the modern US 'moment of danger.' Recommended."

    "Crehan has produced a felicitous and profound intervention that could inform our understanding of both intellectual and political change. In 2016, as a new senso comune begins to develop in an age of ‘post-truth’ politics, Gramsci’s ideas are more timely than ever."

    "Gramsci’s Common Sense: Inequality and Its Narratives, through its analysis of class, subalternity and intellectuals, extensively engages with the Prison Notebooks, offering new ways to describe the different practices that structural inequality can assume through race, gender, sexual orientation and religion in our globalised-capitalist society."

    "It is because Crehan’s book is that good: that prescient, that well written, and that strong of an interpretation of Gramsci’s relevance for our times that it should be read across disciplines, by activists, politically engaged artists, filmmakers, and any cultural worker, critic, or analyst who finds themselves feeling cut off from the world at this point in our current conjuncture."

    Reviews

  • "Kate Crehan’s new book on Antonio Gramsci’s work is an astute and accessible text that attempts to connect his ideas to current events in the United States. Staying true to the Gramscian spirit, Crehan spends the first four chapters contextualizing both his life and his work in order to show how his ideas evolved. Crehan then spends several chapters showing why these ideas remain useful in today’s world; as Gramsci would have wanted, knowledge should be used for social change, not for the sake of knowing alone. What is most striking about the book is the lucid and engaging way in which Crehan writes."

    "[Crehan] offers a clear path for thinking about political world views on the American Left and Right that seem at odds with each other and with rational expectations. . . . Though providing a detailed interrogation of the historiography of Marxism and culture is not Crehan's main goal, her book is an excellent pathway into this rich scholarly tradition that brings into focus the intellectual underpinnings of the modern US 'moment of danger.' Recommended."

    "Crehan has produced a felicitous and profound intervention that could inform our understanding of both intellectual and political change. In 2016, as a new senso comune begins to develop in an age of ‘post-truth’ politics, Gramsci’s ideas are more timely than ever."

    "Gramsci’s Common Sense: Inequality and Its Narratives, through its analysis of class, subalternity and intellectuals, extensively engages with the Prison Notebooks, offering new ways to describe the different practices that structural inequality can assume through race, gender, sexual orientation and religion in our globalised-capitalist society."

    "It is because Crehan’s book is that good: that prescient, that well written, and that strong of an interpretation of Gramsci’s relevance for our times that it should be read across disciplines, by activists, politically engaged artists, filmmakers, and any cultural worker, critic, or analyst who finds themselves feeling cut off from the world at this point in our current conjuncture."

  • "Kate Crehan brings into bold relief the 'rich and nuanced approach to inequality' Antonio Gramsci developed in his Prison Notebooks. This, in turn, permits her to provide new and powerful insights into popular movements such as the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street and to demonstrate how and why inequality is much more than an economic phenomenon. Scholars have often turned to Gramsci to better understand mechanisms of power; Crehan now turns to Gramsci to illuminate how the dynamics of popular opinion and the movements they spawn may pose a threat to the established political order." — Joseph A. Buttigieg, William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of English, University of Notre Dame

    "With conceptual precision and sophistication, Kate Crehan's examination of subalternity, intellectuals, and common sense brings into focus the complex ways in which class inequality manifests itself in social life and everyday practices. An essential text in Gramscian studies, Gramsci's Common Sense will generate transdisciplinary interest across the humanities and social sciences and is of particular interest to Gramsci specialists across the globe." — Marcus E. Green, editor of, Rethinking Gramsci

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  • Description

    Acknowledged as one of the classics of twentieth-century Marxism, Antonio Gramsci's Prison Notebooks contains a rich and nuanced theorization of class that provides insights that extend far beyond economic inequality. In Gramsci's Common Sense Kate Crehan offers new ways to understand the many forms that structural inequality can take, including in regards to race, gender, sexual orientation, and religion. Presupposing no previous knowledge of Gramsci on the part of the reader, she introduces the Prison Notebooks and provides an overview of Gramsci’s notions of subalternity, intellectuals, and common sense, putting them in relation to the work of thinkers such as Bourdieu, Arendt, Spivak, and Said. In the case studies of the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street movements, Crehan theorizes the complex relationships between the experience of inequality, exploitation, and oppression, as well as the construction of political narratives. Gramsci's Common Sense is an accessible and concise introduction to a key Marxist thinker whose works illuminate the increasing inequality in the twenty-first century.

    About The Author(s)

    Kate Crehan is Professor Emerita, College of Staten Island and the Graduate Center, City University of New York, and the author of Community Art: An Anthropological Perspective and Gramsci, Culture, and Anthropology.
Fall 2017
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