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Chapter week 17

Sociology 2240E Chapter Notes - Chapter week 17: The Power Elite, Elite

Course Code
SOC 2240E
Robert Nonomura
week 17

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The concept of power and domination 117-118
Monday, April 9, 2018
10:27 PM
Power =meant that opportunity existing within a social relationship which permits one to carry
out one's own will even against resistance and regardless of the basis on which this opportunity
Domination =meant that the opportunity to have a command of a given specified content obeyed
by a given group of persons
Discipline =meant that opportunity to obtain a prompt in a predictable form from a given group of
persons because of their practiced orientation toward a command
Every conceivable quality of a person and combination of circumstances may put someone in a
situation where he can demand compliance with his will
o The fact of the matter is that domination depend sonly on the actual presence of one
person successfully issuing commands to another
If a corporate group possesses an administrative staff it is always to a certain extent engaged in
corporate domination
o Normally, corporate domination is at the same time also an administrative organization
The power elite
Monday, April 9, 2018
10:36 PM
The higher circles
The powers of ordinary men are circumscribed by the everyday worlds in which they live, they
often seem driven by forces they can neither understand nor govern
o Not all men in this sense are ordinary, some men come to occupy positions in American
society form which they can look down upon, and by their decisions mightily affect, the
everyday worlds of ordinary men
The power elite is composed of men whose positions enable them to transcend the ordinary
environments of ordinary men and women
o For they are in command of the major hierarchies and organizations of modern society
Immediately below the elite are professional politicians of middle levels of power
o Mingling with them are those professional celebrities
Within American society, major national power now resides in the economic, the political, and the
military domains
Within each of the big 3, the typical institution unit has become enlarged, has become
administrated and, in the power of decisions, has become centralized
o The economy -once a great scatter of small productive units in autonomous balance -bas
become dominated by 2 or 3 hundred giant corporations
o Political order -once a decentralized set of several dozen states with a weak spinal cord, has
become a centralized, executive establishment
And now enters into each and every cranny of the social structure
o The military order, once a slim establishment in a context of distrust fed by state militia, has
become the largest and most expensive feature of government
The decisions of the military establishment rest upon and affect political life as well as the very
level of economic activity
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