The writings of Antonio Gramsci [masked]) sought to account for the role of culture in social development. A major criticism of many Marxist theorists was that they assumed that society changed as a result of economic conditions; through the concept of hegemony Gramsci tried to show that a dominant culture could play a distinctive role. The Prison Notebooks (written by Gramsci during his captivity between 1929 and 1936) are a collection of texts which are markedly less doctrinaire than many communist writings of that period. An approach which eschewed a simple materialism has had an impact beyond left politics and into the study of international relations, culture and critical theory.
Gramsci, A, The Prison Notebooks (Section II(1), 'The Modern Prince' and Section II(2) 'State and Civil Society').
As ever, you're strongly encouraged to read the text in advance so that you can make a full contribution to the discussion.