Saturday, April 25, 2020
Pluralist and Power Elite Approaches
Introduction to Pluralist and Power Elite Approaches Human society is one of the most complicated aspects of the analysis regarding the relations between individuals, groups of individuals, and other entities that can be allocated in terms of resources of influence. Sociology of power emphasises the power relations between different communities and identifies the real influencing aspects that can alter a situation and the governance as well as the process of rule making.Advertising We will write a custom essay sample on Pluralist and Power Elite Approaches specifically for you for only $16.05 $11/page Learn More In this respect, it is necessary to dwell on the principles of rule making and different approaches to this process as related to the political rule and social power that can be considered the most important factors while assessing the influence of certain resources on the power, governing power, and resulting in the political regime. Different t heories of power distribution can be analysed with regard to the power of influence and the amount of resources to influence others or situation. Though history saw many examples of both approaches, pluralist and power elite, it is necessary to enlarge on the principles of power distribution in society in different periods of human civilizationÃ¢â¬â¢s activity with regard to the economic situation and social movements. Moreover, the political power and the power of influence cannot be analysed as a single and the only aspect for the political regime establishment; these two concepts can be even opposed to each other or exist at the same period making one of those principles more important than other. In other words, the distribution of power in society cannot always be analysed in terms of theories of political rule making. Besides, the power to make political decisions does not always arise from the real objective interests and can be characterised by the interests and preference s of the political participants (Lukes 2005: 29). The pluralist approach is largely opposed to the power elite one in terms of Ã¢â¬Ëthe business of ruleÃ¢â¬â¢ and the process of rule making due to discrepancies in the regimeÃ¢â¬â¢s strengths and the overall theoretical advantages of a definite approach. In other words, the pluralism approach highlights the equality of influencing powers regardless its real situation whereas the power of elite approach enables the most influential individuals to make rules. So, the main idea of the current paper consists in analysing and assessing the contradictions between the pluralist and power elite approaches taking into account the distribution of power in society and allocation of resources compared to the political power and the process of rule making.Advertising Looking for essay on natural sciences? Let's see if we can help you! Get your first paper with 15% OFF Learn More Theories of Political Rule and Social Power Theo ries and the power elite approach.The power elite approach is mostly referred to as the one existing in the era before the French Revolution and is largely opposed to the democracy of the contemporary United States of America (Bull 2002: 8-9). However, it is necessary to note that the concept of state and the problem of rule making are closely connected to the distribution of power because the power exist in a certain society while a society has certain rules and common interests. In this respect, some states can exist regardless of a definite territory or a restriction of rules to a certain territory because the main concept of power distribution happens among individuals and groups that can be situated within the territory (Bull 2002: 9). Nevertheless, though political power is spread over the population, it is often limited to a certain territory and can change regarding the interests of the same nation and preferences existing in various regions of the same state. The main theor y of power elite approach in rule making concerns the command as the way to allocate the process of distribution of power in society; however, it is necessary to emphasise the principle when the interests or rules are characterised as good or legal contrasted to the objective principles or unification of preferences that is typical of a power elite approach (Poggi 1978: 2-5). In additions, the existence of visible diversity and other so-called advantages of the pluralist approach can be considered irrelevant because these concepts do not guarantee the appropriateness of political power or genuine equality in the power allocation principles (Lukes 2005: 47). State and society are approached in different ways in by a power elite principle whereas the process of unification is more obvious taking into account the principles typical of the pluralist approach. So, the theory of differentiation is the core of the power elite approach because it enables a single leader to make decisions an d make laws (often in association with another part of social elite) and there is no necessity to fight for political power as the main concept of influence is the command.Advertising We will write a custom essay sample on Pluralist and Power Elite Approaches specifically for you for only $16.05 $11/page Learn More Theories and the pluralist approach. The pluralist approach to the rule making process makes the United States of America the most prominent example of this principle in action. Though there is a number of irrefutable evidence of this methodÃ¢â¬â¢s inappropriateness and secrecy (regardless of the observable openness), its benefits are largely promoted and supported by the global community and international society. Collective behaviour tradition can be considered the core concept for the pluralist approach to the process of rule making (Gamson 1975: 131). This causes the unification of the relations between individuals, groups, and individu al-group/group-individual relations in society. As social relations are commonly unified in accordance with the pluralist approach, inequality arises from the democracy as it appears in a contemporary society because interests are unified as well as preferences though the resources of influence can differ greatly which can result in relocation of political power and, hence, the change of the principles of rule making. The main theories of the pluralist approach include the inferiority of the social preferences compared to the preferences and interests of the political power. As a rule, the pluralist approach is aimed at meeting the requirements of the democracy regardless the genuine principles of power allocation and the amount of resources of influence. Thus, collective goals unify the social interests and make common rules serves the reaching of those goals; the political behaviour can be analysed with regard to the goals of a community opposed to personal interests and preferenc es (Gamson 1975: 138). Benefits of the pluralist approach can be neutralized with the differentiating nature of the contemporary policy in the international society opposed to the principles of unification brought about by other communities that popularize the differentiation concepts. As the core aspect of the pluralist approach to the rule making is the unification, this theory can fail to address all existing interests and preferences topical for the current members of a society. Distribution of Power in Society Discussing the contradictions of the pluralist and power elite theories is incomplete with the consideration of the distribution of power in society.Advertising Looking for essay on natural sciences? Let's see if we can help you! Get your first paper with 15% OFF Learn More In particular, these issues matter when applied to common analysis of presented theories either approving or disapproving the leading role of society in forming the power relations. Another difficulty arises when dealing with the problem of democracy and inequality. In this case, there is the necessity to make an emphasis on the character of the leading power and the triggering principle of power relations. The major controversy appears when considering distribution of power in society in terms of pluralist views. Due to the fact that this approach is based on meeting the needs of democracies, social power is distributed according to the principle of equal impact on the government. The problem is that equal distribution of power among physical entities is not always possible because of irrational resources allocation presented by material object, social status, and ethical considerations (Dahl 1961:3). In response to this problem, the necessity to introduce the elite power approach to social order is inevitable due to the rigid inequality of property, knowledge and social position, and publicity between the members of society (Dahl 1961:6). In order to reconcile the needs of power elite and the constellations of influenced groups, it is necessary to consider power distribution with reference to institutional arrangement and command. These two concepts presented by Poggi (1978:3) seem to be quite reasonable from the perspective of political order and legitimacy. Indeed, favorable distribution of resources on the basis of command is more effective that that based on custom and exchange. This is explained by the ideas that the body of custom end exchange cannot sustain the exploration and mobilization of new resources and values. In addition, it does not allow society to prevent various contingencies enabling the members to choose the most appropriate patterns to act (Poggi 1978:4). Arising from everything mentioned above, the main principle of power allocation s hould be based on unanimous legitimate arrangement on the two-polar power system. Therefore, society should be directed by one or a specific set of goals that would encompass social and political order. Alternatively, the disposition of views and approaches, which is typical of pluralistic order, will lead to appearance of different values and beliefs (Bull 2002:4). BullÃ¢â¬â¢s approach to the distribution of power is predominantly based on monopolistic views that exclude the pluralist techniques for the decision-making process. Therefore, the introduction of democratic approaches will strike the balance within the domain of social and political dimensions (Emerson 1962:32). Comparative Assessment of the Strengths and Weaknesses of the Pluralism and Elite Power Approaches Highlighting the strengths of the pluralist and elite power approaches. Each of the approaches under consideration has some strong sides due to their great contributions to the arrangement of social and political order. Considering the pluralist theory, the positive side of pluralist approach implementation consists in its focus on social relation as the leading factor of power formation. In particular, the main underpinning of social power is not the leading actor, but the relation itself (Emerson, 1962: 33). The leaders possess power only when they have a specific group to impose power on. In addition to this, the pluralist approach is more effective as far as a decision-making process is concerned. Lukes (2005:17), thus, places an emphasis on the social behavior as the triggering factor of social relations and as an indicator of power. Consistent and successful process of decision making generates a healthy competition that, in its turn, positively contributes to social, economical, and political development of a state. In contrast, the main merit of the elite power approach in the process of rule making is also valuable. According to this theory, the social relations are governed by one purpose where all decisions are made with regard to this purpose. The success of such monopolistic approach is possible in case the state is headed by the leader who has sufficient resources and who is able to allocate them within society in a reasonable way. The governing of one leader fosters the accomplishment of the established goals and decreases the possibility of disagreement within society (Bull 2002: 9). More importantly, the elite power theory contributes to the formation of social and political integrity. Considering the elite theory of power through the prism of social order, this approach is more efficient in arranging rules and orders within a state, particularly if the flow of social activities is based on the principle of command (Poggi, 1978:5). Indeed, the exploration and advancement will be considerably facilitated under the auspices of a monopolistic power. Highlighting the weaknesses of the pluralist and elite power approaches. Although the pluralist approach t o the process of rule-making is more productive for meeting the needs of society, it encounters the difficulties when dealing with the equal allocation of sources (Dahl 1961:5). In particular, excessive democracy dictating equal participation in governing can lead to greater discrepancies between communities. Discussing pluralism from the point of view of order formation, this method of rule making is irrelevant, because the social order cannot be based on the divergent positions. What is more important is mixed views cannot satisfy legal, moral, and economic aspect of decision making as the essence of political decision consist in the necessity to promote specific goals. The problem of decision making arises when dealing with elite power approach to the process of rule making. By promoting the leadersÃ¢â¬â¢ rules and preferences, the government deprives society of political significance and minimizing its role in providing viable solutions. In other words, the suppression of poli tical role decreases the importance of social relations (Emerson: 1962: 32). As a result, the government can lose the object of power and, therefore, it cannot be considered to owner of the power itself. In addition, the concentration of power can even lead to great inequality of resources distribution. Conclusion The pluralist and elite power approaches constitute opposite sides of a two-polar system with regard to the process of rule making. This is primarily predetermined by opposite focus on the political systems and conceptual priorities of both approaches. Hence, the pluralist approach is more concerned with influencing powers and social relations whereas the power of elite approach argues the necessity to establish a unanimous goal to pursue. On the one hand, a pluralistic approach considers social relations as the underpinning of governing and resources allocation. It also strives to establish the equality in the process of decision-making. On the other hand, elite power con cept is more effective in reaching the policy of unification where the international order is subjected to the prevailing superiority-inferiority relations. Taking into consideration all strengths and weaknesses, both approaches simultaneously provide viable solutions and serious controversies when applied to the distribution of power in society. Works Cited Bull, Hedley. The Concept of Order in World Politics. The Anarchical Society. A Study of Order in World Politics. UK: Palgrave, 2002, Print. Dahl, Robert A. Who Governs? Democracy and Power in an American City. New Haven and London: Yale University Press. Emerson, Richard M. Ã¢â¬Å"Power-Dependence RelationsÃ¢â¬ . American Sociological Review. 27.1. (1962): 31-41. Print. Gamson, William A. Ã¢â¬Å"the limits of Pluralism.Ã¢â¬ The Strategy of Social Protest. Homewood: The Dorsey Press, 1975. Print. Lukes, Steven. Power: a Radical View. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005. Print. Poggi, Gianfranco. Introduction: The Business of R ule. The Development of the Modern State. California: Stanford University Press, 1978, Print. This essay on Pluralist and Power Elite Approaches was written and submitted by user Wayne Garza to help you with your own studies. You are free to use it for research and reference purposes in order to write your own paper; however, you must cite it accordingly. You can donate your paper here.