Radical Education and Culture in the Work of Antonio Gramsci

  • Henry A. Giroux


Sixty years after his death, Antonio Gramsci still looms large as one of the great political theorists of the twentieth century. Born in Sardinia in 1891, Gramsci eventually settled in the industrial city of Turin in Northern Italy. After splitting from the socialist party, he founded the Italian Communist Party, which he headed from 1924 until he was imprisoned by Mussolini’s fascist regime in 1926. During his trial for crimes against the state, the government prosecutor argued that “We must stop this brain from functioning for twenty years.” Gramsci died in 1937, the day after he was released. During the time he was imprisoned, he wrote endlessly on culture and politics, though in a cryptic style in order to evade prison censors. Eventually his notes were smuggled out of prison and published. Soon afterwards, he was recognized as one of the major figures of Western Marxism, especially for his work on culture, civil society, education, and hegemony as a form of cultural and social leadership. Refusing to separate culture from systemic relations of power, or politics from the production of knowledge and identities, Gramsci redefined how politics influences everyday life through the force of its educational practices, relations, and discourses.


Public Sphere Radical Education Educational Practice Cultural Politics Public Intellectual 
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© Henry A. Giroux 2000

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  • Henry A. Giroux

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