Beyond the Ruling Class: Strategic Elites in Modern Society

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Transaction Publishers, Jan 1, 1991 - Social Science - 354 pages
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Influential minorities have existed in some form in all human societies. Throughout history', such elites have evoked varied responses--respeet. hos-tility, i'ear. envy, imitation, but never indifference. While certain elite groups have been of only passing historical importance, strategic elites, whose mem-bers are national and international leaders, today are ultimately responsible for the realization of social goals and for the continuity of the social order in a swiftly changing world. This volume, which first appeared in 1963. marked" a major advance in our theoretical understanding of these elites, why they are needed, how they operate, and what effect they have on society.

Drawing upon the work of such classical writers as Saint-Simon. Marx. Durkheim. Mosca. Pareto. and Michels, and such modern scholars as Mann-heim. Lasswell, Aron. Mills, and Parsons, the author presents a challenging theory of elites that provides the framework for her examination of their co-existence, their social origins, and their rise and decline. The elites discussed here include political, diplomatic, economic, and military, as well as scientific, cultural, and religious ones. Systematically, the author surveys available em-pirical data concerning American society, and selected materials on Great Brit-ain. Germany, the Soviet Union, and the developing nations of Asia and Africa.

Written with clarity and distinction. Ifayond the Ruling Class remains a thorough and provocative treatment, rich in empirical insights, of a subject that will compel the attention of political scientists, sociologists, and historians concerned with themes of power, influence, and leadership in national and international life. Her new introduction to Beyond the Ruling Class is at once an appraisal of the current status of elite studies and a careful self-evaluation of her efforts.

 

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Contents

1 INTRODUCTION TO THE ORIGINAL EDITION
3
Elites defined
4
Influential theories of elites
6
Questions and pitfalls in the study of elites
19
Plan of this book
22
HISTORICAL ANTECEDENTS
29
Types of social core groups
30
The rise of social core groups and social classes
33
Three kinds of collective symbols
155
Instrumental and symbolic functions
158
Symbolic reciprocity between strategic elites and their publics
162
Symbols and sentiments
166
8 RECRUITMENT RESPONSIBILITIES AND REWARDS
172
Desirable attributes
175
The search for candidates
177
Selecting desirable candidates
179

Two historical illustrations
34
Origins of social classes
38
The perpetuation of social classes
44
Marx and Engels
47
The ruling class and strategic elites
54
CONCOMITANT SOCIAL FORCES
65
Growth of population
66
Growth of the division of labor
67
Growth of formal organization and its social implications
70
Growth of moral diversity
74
Rise of functional elites
76
Elites as minorities
77
4 THE SOCIAL FUNCTIONS OF STRATEGIC ELITES
88
A functional model of the social system
91
Emergent types of elites
96
External and internal elites
98
Modes of organization
100
Instrumental and expressive aspects of elite roles
102
SELECTED CASES
107
Elites in industrialized societies
108
Rank order among strategic elites
123
6 STRATEGIC ELITES AND THE MORAL ORDER
132
The collective conscience and strategic elites
134
Moral differences among strategic elites
141
Cohesion among strategic elites
145
7 THE SYMBOLIC ROLE OF STRATEGIC ELITES
153
Attracting desirable candidates
182
Responsibilities and rewards
185
Patterns of recruitment
186
9 SOCIAL BACKGROUNDS AND CAREERS OF SELECTED ELITES IN THE UNITED STATES
198
Problems of definition and boundaries
200
Social origins of strategic elites
204
Education and careers
210
Internal and external elites
215
Some implications
216
10 THE RISE AND FALL OF STRATEGIC ELITES
227
Circulation of elite individuals
228
Circulation of elite positions
235
11 ELITES EQUALITY AND FREEDOM
259
Equality
265
Freedom and despotism
272
II Social class origins of various elites
292
III Trends in social class origins of elites
307
IV Lineage ethnic and religious backgrounds
308
V Trends in ascribed attributes
309
VI Type of ascent for the disadvantaged
312
VII Elites narrowly defined
317
VIII Career lines of various elites
319
IX The prevalence of lawyers
325
BIBLIOGRAPHY
327
INDEX
343
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