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What is Domhoff's theory of power?

This lesson looks at G. William Domhoff's theory of power in America. The lesson describes who makes up the power elite - social upper class, corporate community, policy-planning network - and the means this group uses to influence politics.

Who rules America according to Domhoff?

Unfortunately, the discussion in class changed some of his ideas about America. According to G. William Domhoff who wrote a book called Who Rules America?, it is not the people, but wealthy business owners who make the rules. Domhoff is a professor at UC Santa Cruz who conducts research in psychology and sociology.

What is the power elite according to Domhoff?

According to Domhoff, the true power is controlled by people within the upper class who want to make policy, but he adds that this elite group is influenced by the corporate group and the experts in the network. The power elite are interested in taking action to shape government so that it adheres to their vision.

How does relative autonomy of the state affect ruling class control?

In the long run, then, the relative autonomy of the state helps maintain ruling class control by making the masses feel the state is impartial when in fact it is not (Thompson, 1975).


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