ERIC Number: EJ890049
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006-Oct
Reference Count: 23
Who Rules America?
Tenenbaum, Shelly; Ross, Robert J. S.
Teaching Sociology, v34 n4 p389-397 Oct 2006
At a small private liberal arts school such as Clark University, students are familiar with people from upper middle class backgrounds. Either they themselves are from upper middle class families or, if they are from working class or lower middle class backgrounds, they are acquainted with more affluent peers. Clark students have a clear image of how wealthy professionals, managers, and entrepreneurs live; they know what their homes look like, where they go for vacations, and are familiar with their patterns of material consumption. In contrast, the upper class--the top 1 percent of the population who owns 51.4 percent of the privately held corporate stock--is so far removed from the vast majority of their students' experiences that their required social stratification course, "Class, Status, and Power," is usually their first introduction to this social group. In this article, the authors explore two assignments that help their students understand the formidable political and economic power of the "invisible" elite and the corporate structure that sustains it.
Descriptors: Social Stratification, Liberal Arts, Private Colleges, Working Class, Middle Class, Social Class, Social Status, Advantaged, Power Structure, Social Capital, Research Methodology, Research Skills, Corporations, Ownership, Social Indicators, Political Power
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A