The Power Structures Within Our Society

1629 Words Dec 1st, 2015 7 Pages
II. The Power Elite and Social Conflict
Looking at the power structures within our society, we can use the sociological analysis of sociologists C. Wright Mills and Ralf Dahrendorf. These sociologists have similar opinions to the concept of power within our society. Starting with Mills, we learn through his readings that Power has to do with whatever decisions men make about the arrangements under which they live, and about the events which make up the history of their time (Mills, 1958). Mills tells us that we as citizens are powerless to those in government power. We learn through Mill’s power elite theory that those in a higher power or in an elite position such as the economy, government, and military are the ones who make the decisions. These elite subjugate the key leadership positions around us and the decisions they make have consequences for us, the citizens, or those who do not have much power. Those who are in the power elite or prominent positions enter these positions through education, their connections established from the place of education or simply through family. We are taught in this reading that those who are in power had power from the beginning and keep that power, it is not evenly distributed throughout our society. Looking at the viewpoint of power through Dahrendorf’s perspective, we can relate his perspective to class conflict. Dahrendorf states, “The history of all societies so far has been a history of class struggles” (Dahrendorf, 1958).…
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