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Encyclopedia > Elitism

Elitism is the belief or attitude that the people who are considered to be the elite — a selected group of persons with outstanding personal abilities, wealth, specialised training or experience, or other distinctive attributes — are the people whose views on a matter are to be taken the most seriously, or that these are persons whose views should be regarded as carrying the most weight, or, more simply, these people are best fit to govern. Alternatively, the term elitism could be used to describe a situation in which power is in fact concentrated in the hands of an elite, whether rightly or not. Look up elite, élite in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ...


Elitism is often used pejoratively to describe a general mindset of arrogance or disregard for the general non-elite public (Meritocracy, a special kind of elitism, does not carry this connotation). A word or phrase is pejorative if it implies contempt or disapproval. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ...


For the converse of "elitism" see "anti-elitism", "populism", and the political theory of Pluralism. Anti-elitism is a term used to describe attitudes of resent, or in extreme cases, hate for those of power. ... Niccolò Machiavelli, ca 1500, became the key figure in realistic political theory, crucial to political science Political Science is the systematic study of the allocation and transfer of power in decision making. ... It has been suggested that Pluralistic perspective be merged into this article or section. ...

Contents

Characteristics of the "elite"

Attributes that identify an elite vary; personal achievement may not be essential. Elite attributes include:

  • Commonly, large amounts of personal wealth, often assessed as the reward of elite qualities by those who are impressed by it, are insufficient on their own, as every nouveau riche can attest.
  • The term elitism is also used to refer to situations where a group of people who claim to possess high abilities or simply an in-group or cadre conspire to give themselves extra privileges at the expense of all other people. This form of elitism may be described as discrimination.
  • Less commonly, elitism may also refer to situations where an elite is given both special privileges and special responsibilities, in the hope that this arrangement will benefit all people.

To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Nouveau riche (Fr. ... In sociology, an ingroup is a social group towards which an individual feels loyalty and respect, usually due to membership in the group. ... For other uses of the term, see Cadre (disambiguation). ... The word discrimination comes from the Latin discriminare, which means to distinguish between. To discriminate socially is to make a distinction between people on the basis of class or category without regard to individual merit. ... Social class refers to the hierarchical distinctions between individuals or groups in societies or cultures. ... Sociology is the study of the social lives of humans, groups and societies. ... In sociology, social stratification is the hierarchical arrangement of social classes, castes, and strata within a society. ...

Anti-elitism

Main articles: Anti-elitism, Populism, and Pluralism

Anti-elitism is a term used to describe attitudes of resent, or in extreme cases, hate for those of power. ... It has been suggested that Pluralistic perspective be merged into this article or section. ...

Elitism as a pejorative term

The term "elitism" or the title "elitist" can be used resentfully by a person who is not a member of an elite, or is a member but resents the elite position or uses it in a condescending or cynical manner in order to ridicule or criticize practices which discriminate on the basis of ability or attributes. Often, accusing someone of being an "elitist" is used as a pejorative remark meant to imply that the person in question does not in fact belong to an elite, but is merely a hanger-on. Cynicism (Greek κυνισμός) was originally the philosophy of a group of ancient Greeks called the Cynics, founded by Antisthenes. ...


Elitism vs. Egalitarianism

Elitism can be interpreted as encouraging the exclusion of large numbers of people from positions of privilege or power. Thus, many populists seek the social equality of Egalitarianism, Populism, Socialism, or Communism. They may also support affirmative action, social security, luxury taxes, and increasingly high progressive taxes for the wealthiest members of society. All of these measures seek to reduce the gap of power between the elite and those who are not elite. Egalitarianism can refer to moral as well as factual theories. ... Socialism refers to a broad array of doctrines or political movements that envisage a socio-economic system in which property and the distribution of wealth are subject to social control. ... This article is about communism as a form of society and as a political movement. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Social security primarily refers to a field of social welfare concerned with social protection, or protection against socially recognized conditions, including poverty, old age, disability, unemployment, families with children and others. ... A tax on products not considered essential, such as expensive cars. ... A progressive tax is a tax imposed so that the tax rate increases as the amount to which the rate is applied increases. ...


Elitism vs. Pluralism

Pluralism is the belief that public policy decisions should be (or, descriptively, are) the result of the struggle of forces exerted by large populations (workers, consumers, retirees, parents, etc.) directly or indirectly in the policy-making process. This is contrasted with elitism which is the belief that decisions should be (or are) being made essentially according to the interests or ideas of elites. It has been suggested that Pluralistic perspective be merged into this article or section. ... Public policy is a course of action or inaction chosen by public authorities to address a problem. ...


Elitism and education

Main article: Academic elitism

Elitism in the context of education is the practice of concentrating attention on or allocating funding to the students who rank highest in a particular field of endeavour, the other students being deemed less worthy of attention. Academic institutions often face the charge of academic elitism, sometimes called the Ivory Tower. ... Students attending a lecture at the Helsinki University of Technology The word student is etymologically derived through Middle English from the Latin second-type conjugation verb stŭdērĕ, meaning to direct ones zeal at; hence a student is one who directs zeal at a subject. ...


Elitism in education could be based upon learning ability, knowledge, or other abilities.


See also


  Results from FactBites:
 
Elitism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (550 words)
Thus elitism sees an elite as occupying a special position of authority or privilege in a group, set apart from the majority of people who do not match up with their abilities or attributes.
The term "elitism" or the title "elitist" can be used resentfully by a person who is not a member of an elite, or is a member but resents their position or uses it in a condescending or cynical manner in order to ridicule or criticise practices which discriminate on the basis of ability or attributes.
Elitism in the context of education is the practice of concentrating attention on or allocating funding to the students who rank highest in a particular field of endeavour, the other students being deemed less worthy of attention.
elitism - definition of elitism in Encyclopedia (398 words)
Elitism is a belief or attitude that an elite (a selected group of persons whose personal abilities, specialized training or other attributes place them at the top of any field) are the people whose views on a matter are to be taken most seriously, or who are alone fit to govern.
Under elitism these people are seen as occupying a special position of authority or privilege in a group, as opposed to the majority of people who do not match up with their abilities or attributes.
Positive forms of elitism are formed in situations in which members of a community with special abilities or special qualifications are afforded greater respect in honour of their abilities or qualifications.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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