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Chapter

MSL Reading #35 -- The Power Elite

3 Pages
66 Views
Winter 2011

Department
Sociology
Course Code
SOCA02H3
Professor
Malcolm Mac Kinnon

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The Power Elite
C. Wright Mils
The power elite consist of the top leaders in three areas:
othe corporate elite is made up of the executives from large companies
o the military elite is the senior officers
othe small political elite includes the president and top officials
othe executive and legislative branches
According to mills’ argument, these elite officials all know each other and act in
unison when critical decisions must be made
As the means of information and of power are centralized, some men come to occupy
positions in American society from which they can look down upon, and by their
decisions mightily affect, the everyday worlds of ordinary men and women
The power elite is composed of men whose positions enable them to transcend the
ordinary environments of ordinary men and women; they are in positions to make
decisions having major consequences
Their failure to act, their failure to make decisions, is itself an act that is often of
greater consequence than the decisions they do make
They are in command of the major hierarchies and organization of modern society
They rule big corporation, machinery of the state, and claim its prerogatives
They direct the military establishment and occupy the strategic command posts of
the social structure in which are now centered the effective means of the power and
the wealth and the celebrity which they enjoy
Advisers and consultants, spokesmen and opinion makers are often the captains of
their higher thought and decision
Immediately below the elite are the professional politicians of the middles levels o
power, in the Congress and in the pressure groups, as well as among the new and old
upper classes of town and city and region
Such men hold quite various theories about their own roles in the sequence of event
and decision
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Description
The Power Elite C. Wright Mils The power elite consist of the top leaders in three areas: o the corporate elite is made up of the executives from large companies o the military elite is the senior officers o the small political elite includes the president and top officials o the executive and legislative branches According to mills argument, these elite officials all know each other and act in unison when critical decisions must be made As the means of information and of power are centralized, some men come to occupy positions in American society from which they can look down upon, and by their decisions mightily affect, the everyday worlds of ordinary men and women The power elite is composed of men whose positions enable them to transcend the ordinary environments of ordinary men and women; they are in positions to make decisions having major consequences Their fa
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