Here is what Wikipedia has to say about Hegemony:
Hegemony (pronounced [hə.ˈdʒe.mə.ni (Amer.), hɪ.ˈɡe.mə.ni (Brit.)]) (Greek: ἡγεμονία hēgemonía) is a concept that has been used to describe the existence of dominance of one social group over another, such that the ruling group—referred to as a hegemon—acquires some degree of consent from the subordinate, as opposed to dominance purely by force. It is used broadly to mean any kind of dominance, and narrowly to refer to specifically cultural and non-military dominance, as opposed to the related notions of empire and suzerainty.
The processes by which a dominant culture maintains its dominant position: for example, the use of institutions to formalize power; the employment of a bureaucracy to make power seem abstract (and, therefore, not attached to any one individual); the inculcation of the populace in the ideals of the hegomonic group through education, advertising, publication, etc.; the mobilization of a police force as well as military personnel to subdue opposition.
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