Gramsci's Concept of Critical Understanding Essay

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Gramsci's Concept of Critical Understanding

1. Gramsci's concept of critical understanding states that all

men are philosophers, and that the inherent common sense that

the average individual has is not critical and coherent but

disjointed and episodic. Political education can transform this

common sense into critical understanding. Individuals of the

subordinate class look to organic individuals within their own

class for leadership in order to be able to construct

oppositional conceptions of life that would become popular and

hegemonic. Critical understanding is dependent on three mutually

supportive conditions. One being free spaces, where workers and

organic individuals come together,
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Critical understanding looks to challenge the

existing social realities and the hierarchy of the dominant

group in this way. Secondly, the quest dimension is commited to

abstract moral prinsiples and a higher social well-being. This

is similar to critical understanding in that there is a struggle

for economic and social justice from a disjuncture between the

ideal and what is real. Lastly, the quest dimension combines

both an open ended skepticism with a higher commitment to social

well-being to make a stand on behalf of the oppressed in order

to be commited to social and economic justice. This is similar

to critical understanding in that the coersive, ideological, and

hegemonic power that the dominant society has over the subaltern

class is used as a form of discourse which directs action to

creating alternative worldviews for themselves.

An individual could use the concept of critical

understanding and the quest dimension to develop an oppositional

religious perspective that could promote resistance to

domination. Discursive resources as a means of transforming

dominant beliefs and ideologies can serve as resistence to

domination in which subaltern classes and questers take the

dominant ideologies, which is possible because of the open-ended

dialogue with the comlexity of life's existential

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