Rise and fall of elites: professionals as movers?

Author (Person)
Series Title
Series Details Vol.20, No.2, 2018, p159-182
Publication Date April 2018
ISSN 1461-6696
Content Type


A significant topic within elite research deserving more attention is the issue of the “rise and fall of elites”. This subject addresses changes in the composition of elites, the emergence of new elites and the decline of established ones, and covers questions like: In what ways do particular groups climb to elite power and status? What may explain the rise of new elite groups?

In this paper, the focus is upon the role of professionals in the processes of elite ascent (and descent). Most holders of elite positions are professionals. This fact invites to draw on approaches within the professions literature to explain the rise of elites. This paper presents three empirical cases of elite ascent in Norway – the rise of economists, communication practitioners and public accountants.

The three historical cases demonstrate that the professionals themselves actively sought to promote their expertise, and to expand their occupational territory. Nonetheless, the professionals’ own efforts to obtain collective advancement contributed to a lesser degree to their elite ascent than more fundamental economic and political changes in the Norwegian society.

Source Link https://doi.org/10.1080/14616696.2017.1390144
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Record URL https://www.europeansources.info/record/?p=512559