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Elites and the Masses There are many theories pertaining to the nature of power in society In modern society it is important to identify where and when power is exercised who benefits and who suffers from it being exerted upon them In this tradition it is useful to examine the managerialist perspective Managerialism focuses on organizations as the basis or unit of analysis of society to which all other aspects of society are subordinate to These organizations use their resources in an attempt to dominate each other and society Managerialism tells us that power is concentrated among a group of elites who control organizations and use them as an instrument to gain more power and expand their realm of control Organizational power is increasingly the most important force that explains the direction of change in both state and society Alford and Friedland p174 Thus elites are becoming the most important factor that determines our society and do not serve the full interests of society but rather attempt to manipulate the masses to better serve itself Max Webers theory of bureaucracy lends itself to the notion of the managerialism He claims that as society becomes more integrated and complex organizational elites come to be more dependent on specialists and experts or bureaucracies to advise and influence them on decisions Bureaucracies are groups of individuals doing specialized tasks which blend into a cohesive and efficient unit Power becomes increasingly centralized within bureaucracies and the elites who control them because as they grow becoming more powerful they use that power to gain more control over the masses Weber saw the historical development of societies as a movement toward rational forms of organization that is groups organized not on the basis of the authority of personalities and traditions but on the basis of specific functions to perform or objectives to meet Marger p 72 Weber often used the notion of a machine to illustrate
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