Power The second basis of social stratification is power , or the capacity to influence people and events to obtain wealth and prestige. That is, having power is positively correlated with being rich, as evidenced by the domination of wealthy males in high-ranking governmental positions. Wealthier Americans are also more likely to be politically active as way of ensuring their continued power and wealth. In contrast, poorer Americans are less likely to be politically active, given their sense of powerlessness to influence the process. Because wealth is distributed unequally, the same is clearly true of power. Elite theorists argue that a few hundred individuals hold all of the power in the United States. These power elite , who may come from similar backgrounds and have similar interests and values, hold key positions in the highest branches of the government, military, and business world.
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