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VI - by simply knowing each other and by sharing a common...

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VI. Maintaining Stratification The United States has great inequality (See L.I.S. Chart). How is it possible that such an unequal system can exist? Always, the majority are denied the wealth of a few. Revolutions, however, are rare compared to all political activity. Two explanations seem to explain why revolutions are so rare. On one hand, the dominant class controls resources. On the other hand, there is wide spread belief that the rule of the upper class is legitimate. Marx notes that social institutions tend to reflect the will of the dominant class. This does not mean that the ruling class actually plots to control institutions. A. Social Networks The government does not conspire to control all wealth. The rich act in their common interests
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Unformatted text preview: by simply knowing each other and by sharing a common agenda. B. Legitimacy Many see the inequitable distribution of wealth at the natural outcome of hard work, perseverance, and a little luck. Even the poor see the current distribution of wealth as legitimate (See Weber, 1968). The masses view the given political economy as valid and justified. C. Ideology An ideology is a set of beliefs which explain or justifies some actual or potential social arrangement (See Robertson, 1989:176). An ideology is a belief structure that confers legitimacy on a social system. Example: A system of beliefs that justifies a social arrangement like slavery is an ideology (Henslin, 2004, 168)....
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