social change Essay

2184 WordsNov 10, 20139 Pages
Power in Society – Marx Conflict Perspective & Elite Theory Social Analysis By Karyn Krawford 08/09 Introduction Power is present in each individual and in every relationship. It is defined as the ability of a group to get another group to take some form of desired action, usually by consensual power and sometimes by force (Holmes, Hughes & Julian, 2007). In society governments, organisations and an elite class of people make decisions that affect the lives of a large mass of other people. A significant amount of research shows these decisions are often made to serve their own economic interests and values of which includes the means of production and property ownership…show more content…
“In other words, workers unwittingly reproduce the power that rules over them” (Holmes et al, 2007, pg 37). Marx viewed a nation state as a collective power of which political parties rule on behalf of society by making rules and regulations in favour of the ruling class (Holmes et al, 2007, Hurst, 2000), based on rational decisions (Walters & Crook, 1995) and by the growing faith in science explaining reality (Hurst, 2000). The nation state today however, is increasingly transformed through devolution, deregulation of public policy and globalisation through the impact of multinational corporations on government power and ability to regulate economic activity. This has resulted in a shift of power from national boundaries to a global level (Tanner, 1999; Gotham, 2004). Elite Theory Among elite theories, a distinctive theory was developed by an American Sociologist C.Wright Mills, called critical elite perspective (Akard, 2001). It consists of two central concepts, which are the power elite group and the managerial class (Holmes et al, 2007). Both groups are given decision-making power that affects the lives of others (Walters & Crook, 1995), and are unaccountable for their decisions (Haralambos & Holborn,
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