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Thesis (M.A.)—University of Nebraska—Lincoln, 1985. Department of Sociology.


Copyright 1985, the author. Used by permission.


This paper has sought to tie together three major points. First, elites exist in American Society. Elites are those people indicated by C. Wright Mills who control the major power structures in this country. Second, it was shown that through the work of Thomas Dye, William Domhoff, and others, that the corporate interests and holdings of the powerful elite in America can be readily identified. It was further pointed out that elites control the media, perhaps the most powerful legitimizing agent available in the world today. The third major point made was that elites are able to control public action through behavior modeling or categorization of deviant behavior of those characters presented in the media. This concept is consistent with theories in both social psychology (Bandura, 1977) and in psychological sociology (Mead, 1962). It was demonstrated that lifestyles that are advantageous to elite business interests may be sold to the public through presentation in the media.

Advisor: Miguel A. Carranza