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In this paper I will attempt to show that intelligence is a hegemonic concept and that treating it as such reveals insight into our society. Social hegemony is most easily defined as the mode in which civil power is exercised (whereas, for example, state power is exercised through direct domination). Social hegemony’s great power comes from the normalization that hegemonic concepts experience. Regardless of an ideology’s content, hegemony will cause people to believe that it is simply common sense. It is my belief that aspects of intelligence enjoy such broad public acceptance that they can be usefully treated as hegemonic concepts. While the definition of intelligence is extremely unclear, the understanding that aspects of its definition are seen as common sense can help policy-makers attempt to combat the powerful normalizing force caused by hegemony.

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