Journal Article

<i>Primus inter pares</i>? The French field of power and its power elite

François Denord, Paul Lagneau-Ymonet and Sylvain Thine

in Socio-Economic Review

Volume 16, issue 2, pages 277-306
Published in print April 2018 | ISSN: 1475-1461
Published online April 2018 | e-ISSN: 1475-147X | DOI:
Primus inter pares? The French field of power and its power elite

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  • Economic History
  • Capitalist Systems
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The sociology of ‘elites’ usually identifies prominent persons and their connections. Instead, we construct a system of relations between the social characteristics attached to positions of power that are occupied by relatively interchangeable individuals. We use multiple correspondence analysis to represent the French field of power and to locate its power elite. Four main axes structure the former: integration into the economy, class seniority, forms of delegated power and publicity. The position of the power elite signals its members’ detachment from the legitimate sources of power upon which liberal democracies are ostensibly founded: individual achievement and elected office.

Keywords: elites; class; institutions; power; N44; P16; Z13

Journal Article.  11987 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Economic History ; Capitalist Systems ; Economic Sociology

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