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Study Notes

Elitism

Level:
AS, A-Level
Board:
AQA, Edexcel, OCR, IB

Last updated 22 Mar 2021

Elitism is a belief that a small minority of people dominate the economic elite and policy-planning network of a country. The power they hold is not regulated and is independent of the state’s democratic election process.

The “Elite” take positions on corporate boards, join policy-discussion groups, offer financial support to foundations, and gain positions on think tanks. They are thus able to exert a great deal of power of the decisions of both corporations and governments.

Elitist theorists such as Professor C. Wright Mills (“The Power Elite”), are thus sceptical about the importance of pressure groups to democracy. They believe that Groups are less than equal. There are a few important groups that will always dominate governments because they have things in common such as educational background and shared values.

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