The term ‘hegemony’ is used as a foundational philosophy in this research because this term addresses the root cause of our concerns regarding the inequities identified and perpetuated in U.S. education, as well as the direction in which educational reform in the United States is heading.
Examples of Hegemony
1. Takao Ozawa vs. United States (1922) – Following the U.S. Naturalization Act of 1906, which allowed white persons and persons of African descent to naturalize, Ozawa filed for United States citizenship and argued that persons of Japanese descent were “white”. Supreme Court Justice George Sutherland ruled against Ozawa stating that only Caucasians were white and that “it was common sense” that Japanese were not white.
2. The Need for a Social Hierarchy – In a Multiculturalism class at a Midwest university, an undergraduate education student stated, “if we don’t have a hierarchy, how do we move up in the social order to get where we want to go?” This example demonstrates the power of the hegemonic system of belief casino in the U.S. which values social mobility, which supposedly gives people the ability or the perceived notion that we can move through the social order in the U.S.
3. “The American Dream” – In 1931 American writer and historian James Truslow Adams coined the term“American Dream” in his book The Epic of America. His American Dream is “that dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ABILITY or ACHIEVEMENT.” This statement seems like an equitable idea of life without any racial and social discrimination. But in reality the American Dream propagates the notion that if someone fails it is due to their lack of ability or achievement; they never realize how much fair opportunity has been provided to them.