MSL Reading # 24 -- Who Rules America?
4 pages54 viewsWinter 2011
ProfessorMalcolm Mac Kinnon
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Who Rules America?
G. William Domhoff
MSL Reading #24
Sociologists utilize various indicators to measure social class.
Sociologists employ subjective indicators of social class, such as attitudes, values,
class identification, and consumption patterns.
The upper class has a disproportional share of power through its control over
economic and political decision making in this country
Classes imply that people have relatively fixed stations in life
The upper class is help up by interrelated social institutions
oThere must be patterned ways of organizing the lives of its [upper class]
members from infancy to old age that create a relatively unique style of life.
oThere must be mechanisms for socializing both the younger generations and
new adult members who have risen from lower social levels.
Empirical studies to establish the interrelated set of social institutions,
organizations, and social activities:
oHistorical case studies
oQuantitative studies of biographical directories
oOpen-ended surveys of knowledgeable observers
oInterview studies with members of the upper-middle and upper classes
Prepping for Power:
From infancy through young adulthood, members of the upper class receive a
distinctive education – private schools and colleges
oBegins in preschools attached to the church of high social status
oElementary years at a local private school called a “day school”
oAdolescent years; the student may remain at day school, or boarding school
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