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A social analysis of an elite constellation: the case of Formula 1

Nichols, Georgia and Savage, Mike ORCID: 0000-0003-4563-9564 (2017) A social analysis of an elite constellation: the case of Formula 1. Theory, Culture & Society, 34 (5-6). pp. 201-225. ISSN 0263-2764

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Identification Number: 10.1177/0263276417716519


From its inception in the early 20th century thinking of Pareto, Michels and Mosca, elite theory has focused fundamentally on its political connections and dynamics (Woods 1998; Scott 1982; 2008). In this way, the term elite blended into that of the ‘ruling class’, and the fundamental question for researchers studying elites was the extent to which their existence challenged democratic and pluralist politics. It was in this spirit that C. Wright Mills (1956) couched his famous critique of the ‘power elite’. It is also in these terms that John Scott has adopted Weberian perspectives to insist on the significance of ‘command’ for delineating elites, thus differentiating them from social classes. Pierre Bourdieu’s (1985, and see Hjellbrekke et al 2011; Flemmen 2012; Denord et al 2011) conception of ‘fields of power’ also insists on the way that elites are defined through their capacity to mobilise exclusive networks. This approach led methodologically to an emphasis on elite power networks, and to the enduring persistence of elite formations who interlock through their social capital.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2017 The Authors
Divisions: Sociology
International Inequalities Institute
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
Date Deposited: 14 Oct 2017 16:15
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2021 00:24

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