The differences between an elite and the masses are clear and very precise. An elite is a minority, a small group of people who have a higher status than the rest of the members of society, while the mass is a human group with traits of greater susceptibility, emotional contagion, and irrational thinking.
It is a small group of people who have a higher status than the rest of the members of society. Within the same society, there may be different elites depending on the interests of each one of them.
The existence of elites is related to the differentiation of society. As various social fields become more autonomous, elites emerge that defend their own points of view. This causes one of the most well-known problems of modern society, which is horizontal integration, that is, the maintenance of harmonious relationships between various sectoral elites while increasing the challenge of vertical integration, that is, maintaining fluid contact with the rest of the population.
According to right-wing political ideologies, elites are necessary for society.
According to the French sociologist Gustave Le Bon, the masses are human groupings characterized by traits of loss of rational control, emotional contagion, imitation, anonymity for the individual, greater suggestibility, and a feeling of omnipotence.
The mass has a leader who is followed by the entire mass, it meets for a common purpose that is accepted by all. Its members enjoy a sense of belonging and obedience. They are united, have an identity, and are homogeneous. The masses are not autonomous, they are moldable and malleable and there are no debates.
By joining a crowd, individuals acquire a sense of invincible power, which causes the crowd to be more primitive and less subject to the control of conscience or fear of punishment.
Using the term mass implies placing ourselves on a higher plane in society, that is, from an elitist point of view. As the masses have neither identity nor criteria, the elites are the ones that impose the guidelines of their education.
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Difference between elite and mass
- Elites are small groups that enjoy a higher status than the rest of society and defend their own points of view.
- The masses are groups of people who follow a leader, have no rationality, present emotional contagion, and are suggestible.