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Elite Sectors: Differentiation and Integration

  • Heinrich Best
Chapter

Abstract

This chapter introduces the handbook section on differentiation and integration of elite sectors. It describes the formation of elites as a process of social differentiation. The resulting power structure separates economic and political elites. The process of functional differentiation of complex elite systems brings evolutionary advantages, but leads also to elite-elite and elite-population differentials with the potential for conflicts and disruptions in the interaction between elites and non-elites, elite sectors, and sub-elites. Therefore, elite differentiation is intrinsically linked to the vertical integration of elite sectors and to horizontal integration between the levels of elites and non-elites. The chapters of this section cover the sectors of representative elites, executive elites, non-elected political elites, economic elites, and media elites. A further chapter discusses models of elite integration.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Heinrich Best
    • 1
  1. 1.Friedrich Schiller UniversityJenaGermany

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