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Evaluate pluralism as a theory of presentation and explain how the theory is significant in terms of the state and the individual.

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Introduction

Evaluate pluralism as a theory of presentation and explain how the theory is significant in terms of the state and the individual. Pluralism is a structuralist theory. It is the situation within the state or social organisations in which power is shared among a number of groups and organisations. This is a key characteristic of liberal democratic political systems in which power can be openly competed for rather than being concentrated in the hands of a small group of people who constitute a ruling elite. Some pluralist theorists emphasise the importance that pressure groups have in liberal democratic political systems. These are viewed as a key mechanism through which public opinion can influence the decision making process. A pluralist society is one in which citizens are organised into a variety of interest groups that compete with one another. This process occurs within a state, which is independent of the class interests. And is superintendent by the government that adjudicates in the constant competing between groups and interests, seeking to assert the public interest Pluralism is a political sociological theory that is based on structuralism. ...read more.

Middle

Power consists of the relationship between two parties in which one has the ability to compel the other to undertake a course of action that would not be voluntary have been carried out. Governments use power over their citizens but other political organisations may use power as their ability to use force or violence to further their aims. In liberal democracies governments use both power and authority. They are obeyed partly due to the general consent that they have the right to govern. Power that is not from authority is likely to cause violence, disorder or revolution. Pluralists attempt to explain the liberal democracy system as a way in which power can be competed for and not from the constituted ruling elite. From a liberal democracy this equals capitalism, ruling elite and class divisions. Pluralists maintain that power in society is assumed as fixed in Max Webers model of power, which sees the fundamental source of power in society within its members. It also sees power in society as defused and fragmented, represented in many sources. Pluralism has many criticisms these include that it gives a short shrift to those who are not organised. ...read more.

Conclusion

The third face of power strays even further from an emphasis on decision making and the preferences expressed by members of society. Luke's claims that power can be exercised by shaping desires of social groups. A social group may be persuaded to accept or even to desire a situation that is harmful to them. Having examined the nature of power, Luke's is able to conclude that power can be defined by saying that ' A exercises over B when A affects B in a manner contray to B's interests.' In other words, Luke's argued that power is exercised over those who are harmed by its use, whether they are aware they are being harmed or not. Luke has been responsible for refining the concept of power, and showing that it has more than one dimension. As he himself admits, though, what is in a persons interests, or what is good for them, is ultimately a matter of opinion. Marxists and other conflict theorists have suggested that pluralists ignore some aspects of power. In particular it is argued that they concentrate exclusively on the first face of power. There are some criticisms that pluralists ignore the possibility that some have the power to prevent certain issues from reaching the point of decision. ...read more.

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