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Compares and Contracts Pluralist and Elitist Theory

Theories such as pluralism and elitism have been developed to help explain the role groups do and ought to play in the American political process.

1. Compare and contract pluralist and elitist theory.
2. Which, in your opinion, best describes the role of groups in contemporary U.S. politics?

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Please see response attached, including one supporting article.

RESPONSE:

1. Theories such as pluralism and elitism have been developed to help explain the role groups do and ought to play in the American political process. Compare and contract pluralist and elitist theory.

Elitism is the belief or attitude that the people who are considered to be the elite - a selected group of people with outstanding personal abilities, wealth, specialised training or experience, or other distinctive attributes - are the people whose views on a matter are to be taken the most seriously, or that these are persons whose views should be regarded as carrying the most weight, or, more simply, these people are best fit to govern or whose views and/or actions are mostly likely to be constructive. Alternatively, the term elitism could be used to describe a situation in which power is in fact concentrated in the hands of an elite, whether rightly or not. Elitism is often used pejoratively to describe a general mindset of arrogance or disregard for the general non-elite public (Meritocracy, a special kind of elitism, usually does not carry this connotation).

Conversely, the political theory of Pluralism is the belief that public policy decisions should be (or, descriptively, are) the result of the struggle of forces exerted by large populations (workers, consumers, retirees, parents, etc.) directly or indirectly in the policy-making process. Pluralism is the open competition of political interests. http://polisci.nelson.com/glossary.html This is contrasted with elitism, which is the belief that decisions should be (or are) being made essentially according to the interests or ideas of elites. Elitism can be interpreted then as encouraging the exclusion of large numbers of people from ...

Solution Summary

Theories such as pluralism and elitism have been developed to help explain the role groups do and ought to play in the American political process. This solution assists in a compare and contract pluralist and elitist theory, and which one might best describes the role of groups in contemporary U.S. politics. Supplemented with a compelling article on civilizing political theory. References are provided.

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