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Lecture 12

LECTURE 12.docx

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PSYC 331
Donald Taylor

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LECTURE 12 ELITE THEORY th February 13 , 2013 ELITE THEORY Pareto (1935) and Mosca (1939)  Elites and non-elites divide societies o Elites: People with the highest indices in their branch of activity  Governing elites rule society  In social change, one elite is replaced by another (social inequality is constant)  Where the elite is open, circulation is in terms of individuals  Where closed, circulation is in terms of groups o i.e. Talented members of the non-elite will form counterelites and mobilize the non-elite Researching Elite Theory  A dynamic theory o The focus is on change  Large groups, macro changes, over time  Influential in sociology, political science  Maps on to laypeople’s view  Social determinism o Why should the social structure be invariably unequal?  Who are the elite? o Definitional issues  General qualms o Are the middle classes counterelites? o How to account for the survival of the caste system?  We cannot predict which group you will compare yourself with  Kind of theory that none of us want to admit that it makes a lot of sense  It says that you take any group of people and you will for sure see the development of a hierarchy o There would be a small group that will become the elite, the leaders  You have a vertical structure of group o That is the natural thing that humans do  According to elite theory, if a subgroup do a revolution, there is just new people on top but the structure is still the same o It gives the impression that group dynamics are evolving but in fact there is great power in the elite  The ideal of an equalitarian society is non sense SOCIAL DOMINANCE THEORY  In ALL societies, there is a group-based hierarchy  3 bases of hierarchy o Age o Gender o Arbitrary  Legitimizing myths o The group high on the hierarchy try to legitimize why people are lower o Poor people are nice but not so good at getting ahead  No wonder why women should stay at home and take care of the kids o It points out that the hierarchy is there to legitimize people differences FIVE STAGE MODEL  A sequence of stages  We will try to have the theories reflect historical perspective  Extract from a particular conflict and find the principles of the behavior  Every single group goes through this and do NOT skip stages Group stratification  The theory says that most conflicts involve groups of unequal power  He believes that it is possible to have groups of relative power existing o But there would always be groups that will have more power than others o Because we need to categorize the world around us Taylor & McKirnan  Five sequential developmental stages to the cycle of intergroup relations  Historical perspective o Intergroup relations change qualitatively over time  Type of intergroup relations is a function of social comparison and attributional processes  Key processes of social change: disadvantaged groups who find their individual mobility blocked initiate intergroup action  Focus on psychological processes, social comparison and attribution STAGE 1: Clearly stratified Intergroup Relations  Groups are stratified on the basis of ascribed characteristics  No mobility between groups o Only intragroup comparisons are legitimate o Perceived dissimilarity between high and low status group o Low status group members take relationship between group membership and
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