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Class Conflict Perspectives

Most contemporary elite models are based on the work 01 Karl Marx however there are divergent view about the role of the state within the Marxist is conflict perspective.

Instrumental Marxist. able that the state invariably acts to perpetuate the capitalist class. From this perspective, capitalists control the government through special interest groups, lobbying, campaign financing. and other types of "influence peddling- to get legislatures and the courts to make decisions favorable to their class (Miliband, 1969; Domhoff, 2002). In other words, the state exists only to support pe interests of the dominant class (Marger, 1987).

By contrast, structural Marxists contend that the state is not simply a passive instrument of the capitalist class. Because the state must simultaneously preserve order and maintain a positive climate for the accumulation of capital, not an decisions can favor the immediate wishes of the dominant class (Quadagno, 1994; Marger,

 For example, at various points in the history of this country, the state has had to institute social welfare programs; regulate business. and enact policies that' favor unions in order to placate people 'and maintain "law and order" Ultimately. however. such actions serve the long-range interests of the capitalists by keeping members of subordinate groups from rebelling against the dominant group (O'Connor. 1973).

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