920 - Week 4: The Ruling Class and Elite ...

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Unformatted text preview: Week 4: The Ruling Class and Elite Sept. 8, 2010 The Power Elite • What is the Power Elite? o Men and women who are in the position to decide whatever is decided of major consequences for society because of the central positions they hold in the great institutions of modern society • Key Role of Institutions o Necessary bases of power, wealth, and prestige o Power through these institutions is durable and important o Means through which power is exercised wealth s acquired and retained and greater prestige is gained • Key Features of the Triangle of Power o Interchangeability psychological & social bases allow easy intermingling o Overlapping ‘crowds’ and intricately connected ‘cliques’ • I.E., Dick Cheney o V.P. o Secretary of Defense o Congressman o Chief of Staff o American Enterprise Institute o CEO of Halliburton • To Understand the Unity of Power Elite… o Psychological similarity and social intermingling o The structure and mechanics of major institutional hierarchies gives leeway to what they can and cannot do o Explicit coordination events that lead to the emergence of the 3 domains; it is not a conspiracy For example, The Great Depression • Centralized and Enlarged Power o Increasingly, a small group of players occupying positions in the three major institutions have enormously enlarged and decisively centralized power to decide anything of great consequence ...
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