Mosca And Pareto's Theory Of The Sociology Of Elites

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• Elites The sociology of elites was one of the important strands to emerge out of continental theoretical tradition. One among the many theoretical foundations in the field of sociology of elites is laid by Mosca (1939). His theory on elites stratifies societies into two distinguishable groups: the ruling class and the ruled. The ruling class are closely-knit, less in number, hence well-coordinated, “monopolizes power and enjoys the advantages that power brings” while the second class are recipients of ruling class’ influence and control. While the second-class toil to provide the material benefits and ‘instrumentalities’, it is the ruling class who stand at the helm over the production, prioritization and distribution of essential needs in a society. He also observes that the two classes: the majority and minority are distinct in their own way. As the majority is composed of various groups, it is arduous to bring various interest-groups under one roof, unlike the case of ruling class where its members are endowed with monetary, intellectual possessions, which exponentially increases their social standing and confidence. However, his view of ‘elite’ power is simplistic, socially deterministic and static as he believes that ruling classes seize power in a hereditary succession, maximally extending to the kin networks. This view is similar to Pareto’s (1961) concept of “circulation of elites” who however disagreed with the hereditary nature of power. His central thesis was
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