Power Elite Prototypes in the Twentieth Century

Roderic Ai Camp

in Mexico's Mandarins

Published by University of California Press

Published in print January 2002 | ISBN: 9780520233430
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520936386 | DOI:
Power Elite Prototypes in the Twentieth Century

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This chapter divides Mexico's power elite into two major generations, those born between 1910 and 1940, and those born after 1940. The most striking variable across Mexican power elite groups is a leader's age. A generational portrait of Mexico's power elite reveals how overall recruitment patterns are changing. The most pronounced generational division within Mexico's power elite is the dramatic difference between power elites born before or after 1940. The dramatic change in the socioeconomic background of Mexico's top leadership is paralleled by an equally dramatic regional shift in elite residence. Three types of Mexican intellectuals appeared in the second half of the twentieth century: public intellectual, private intellectual, and international intellectual. The older generation of power elites was exposed to historical experiences incorporating civil violence, political instability, and economic nationalism. The younger generation of leaders lost sight of a fundamental issue in Mexico: social and economic inequality.

Keywords: power elite; Mexico; Mexican intellectuals; twentieth century; older generation; younger generation; social inequality; economic inequality

Chapter.  10205 words. 

Subjects: History of the Americas

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