Elite Theory - from http://revisesociology.wordpress.com/

  • Created by: Alice
  • Created on: 04-01-12 19:55

Elite theory rejects the plurality that classical and elite pluralism proposes. Instead Elite theory says there is a small group of “power elites” who hold a very large percentage of power in society.

Classical elite theory was the work of Vilfredo Pareto (1848 – 1923), it states than there will always be this inequality of wealth, in every society due to genetic predispositions.

The big difference between classical elite theorist and Marxists is that elite theorists think the domination by power elites is desirable and natural. This is because some people are genetically better than the rest of society, so it is right and just that they rule.

Evaluation of Classical Elite Theory

+ Evidence from communist countries - Pareto said that even in communism there would still be an elite, this is evident in USSR where Stalin and others had massive power over the citizens who had very little power

- Classical elite theory has been accused of being to simplistic. This is because he says all societies are similar, however, even in the modern world…


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