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A Theory and Methodology for the Study of Elites

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Chapter Summary

The concept of political elite is a simple one; that all societies no matter their ideology or social structure are in fact ruled by a small group of individuals designated variously as a political elite, a ruling class or a power elite. This chapter concerns to integrate existing fragmented theoretical and methodological approaches to the study of political elites and then to extend them in a study of the political elite in the context of KwaZulu-Natal. The first key debate of the chapter is the social composition of the political elite, which is a salient concern of classical elite theorists and contemporary analysts of political recruitment alike. The contextual literature on KwaZulu-Natal is largely disconnected from political science concepts and meanings.

Keywords:classical elite theorists; elites; KwaZulu-Natal; political science

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