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Chapter 35

MSL Chapter 35

4 pages17 viewsWinter 2011

Department
Sociology
Course Code
SOCA02H3
Professor
Mc Kinon
Chapter
35

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MSL Ch.35 The Power Elite by C.Wright Mills
There are people in society who are not like everyone else (ordinary), they have
power so they can look down upon and make decisions that can affect peoples
everyday worlds
Jacob Burckhardt said about great men that they are all that we are not we
might as well say this about elite
Power elite composed of men whose positions enable them to transcend the
ordinary environments of ordinary men & women
oMake decisions with major consequences
oTheir failure to act would be greater consequence
oRule big corporations, run machinery of state
oDirect military establishment
Below them are the politicians of middle level of power, in the congress and in the
pressure groups
oMingling with them are celebs who live by being continually displayed
The elite often are uncertain of their roles
oNo matter how great their actual power, they tend to be less acutely aware of
it than of the resistances of others to its use
Most American men of affairs have learned the rhetoric of public relations, and
coming to believe it
Group of ppl believe that there must be an elite of power by looking at history
bomb was dropped over Japan in the name of the U.S.A
oThese ppl infer that there is a group which makes decisions or fails to make
them the elite, and they have great power
On other hand, ppl believe that there is no elite whose powers are of decisive
consequence
Must take into account the major institutions of modern society
oThese hierarchies of state/corporation and army constitute the means of
power
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