Hegemony and Silence Journal Article uri icon



  • State-sponsored silences cloak topics, such as inequality, that are of considerable social significance. However, hegemonic processes protecting current power structures drive these subjects underground, making them resilient and resistant to exposure. This poses both methodological and epistemological dilemmas. The social forces that perpetuate these silences do not yield easily to researchers; scholars thus know little about the complex hegemonic mechanisms underlying these powerful social forces. In this article, based on my experience conducting ethnographic fieldwork in the context of Mexico’s state-sponsored silence on racism, I illustrate how silence and silencing discourses function as mechanisms to reproduce hegemonic social relations. I detail the numerous barriers I faced when attempting to penetrate the silence on racism, and how these seemingly unproductive encounters ironically resulted in exposing various silencing mechanisms. I address the bigger question of why the Mexican populace goes to great lengths to keep racism hidden: in maintaining the invisibility of racism, they reaffirm their national and moral identities. I conclude by sharing my “methodological toolkit” for studying state-sponsored silences.

publication date

  • February 1, 2015

Date in CU Experts

  • February 1, 2017 7:32 AM

Full Author List

  • Sue CA

author count

  • 1

Other Profiles

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0891-2416

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1552-5414

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 113

end page

  • 140


  • 44


  • 1