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Pluralist Model and the Instrumentalist Model - Essay Example

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Social inequality is a condition in which members of a society have different amounts of wealth, prestige or power. Power refers to the ability to influence or to get ones way in spite of opposition, most society's power is only held by a few people, and the sources of power include political influence, economic power and institutional power.
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Pluralist Model and the Instrumentalist Model
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Pluralist Model and the Instrumentalist Model Introduction: Social inequality is a condition in which members of a society have different amountsof wealth, prestige or power. Power refers to the ability to influence or to get ones way in spite of opposition, most society's power is only held by a few people, and the sources of power include political influence, economic power and institutional power.
Most sociologist view the modern world as having advantages but also criticize the inherent problems, to Giddens the modern world is a juggernaut to which we humans tend to drive but threatens to run out of control, it can resist us and crashes those who resist.
Jerry Kloby in his book Inequality, Power, and Development, he discusses two theories to explain the modern world, the pluralist and the instrumentalist model, the pluralist model indicates that power in the society is not held by a few people while the instrumentalist model indicates that power is held by only a few people and therefore high levels of inequality.
Pluralist model:
This model focuses on the relationships that exist between the state and society, it focuses on the various important ways in which citizens control their leaders and also shape public policies. Citizens therefore are involved in public policy making, to this model power is possessed by the society as a whole, power is considered as a resource in society in attainment of goals.
The society today is in accordance to this theory in that there are elections held to determine who is to represent the people's interest and if the people find him inappropriate they will reject him.
Instrumentalist model:
This model argues that bureaucrats, capitalist and political leaders are unified into a single group by their common origin, lifestyles and values, public policies are made through the networks that exist between these groups. According to this model power in the society is only held by a few individuals who use it to further their own interests, therefore public policies are made by the ones who have institutional, political and economic power. In the society we live it is true that power is only held by a few people, they will shape the societies policies for their own interest and not the interest of the people.
Conclusion:
The instrumentalist model is the most appropriate model in discussing the modern world in that the citizens will be seen as the ones who hold power but with time personal interests by leaders take over and leaders will refrain from taking any actions that will endanger their position. Therefore we can conclude that the society we live in today is characterized by high levels of inequality and that decisions and policies implemented are those who have power in the society.
Reference:
Jerry Kloby (2003) Inequality, Power, and Development: Issues in Political Sociology 2nd edition Prometheus publishers, New York. Read More
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