This volume provides evidence for the argument of a central place of pedagogy in the interpretation of Gramsci’s political theory. Gramsci’s view that ‘every relationship of hegemony is necessarily a pedagogical relationship’ makes it imperative to dismiss narrow and formal interpretations of his educational theories as applying to schooling only. This book argues that what is required rather is an inquiry into the Italian thinker’s broad conceptualisation of pedagogy, which he thought of as a quintessential political activity, central to understanding and transforming society.
Preceded by a broad introduction that positions Gramsci in his context and in the literature, the essays in this book critically revisit the many passages of the Prison Notebooks and pre-prison writings where Gramsci addresses the nexus between politics and pedagogy. Some essays apply those concepts to specific contexts. The book for the first time brings to the attention of an English-speaking audience voices from the current historiography in Italy and Latin America.
We are forced at regular intervals to consider how Gramsci might still be useful, in particular national territories, in an international context. How can we carry on with pessimism of the intelligence, but find some basis for optimism of the will?
Anne Showstack Sassoon, Visiting Professor of Politics at the Department of Politics at Birbeck, University of London