Pluralist theory research is written in research papers and focuses on the prollific presence of pluralism in American society. Pluralist theory is a line of thinking in the social sciences that posits that power in various countries, particularly the United States, is distributed among various interest groups that are in constant competition with one another for control or influence. It is important to note that this power is not distributed equally; one interest group, such as the church, for example, might have more influence than another interest group, such as Planned Parenthood. These various interest groups want to have their voice not only heard in the shaping of public policy, but to help craft policies themselves, usually in a way that serves their best interests. Interest groups often focus their energies on just one or two key areas, allowing them to ensure the greatest impact for their efforts.img src="images/pluralist-theory.jpeg" alt="Pluralist Theory" name="Pluralist Theory" width="72" height="99" align="right">
Because of pluralist theory, it is clear that there is not one elite ruling class that is solely responsible for shaping the policies of the nation. Instead, the interest groups and their leadership come from a variety of walks of life and personal and professional experiences. Each of these interest groups has different priorities and values, and each represents a different segment of the general population, though there can be some overlap in the demographics they serve. Working within the construct of the government, these interest groups serve as the voice of the masses with the government crafting a series of rules and regulations that resolve issues as they might arise between the groups themselves.
Pluralism throughout American History
As a backdrop, the failure to adopt a pluralist approach has been manifested throughout history in countries like Greece, Italy and the Soviet Union. American pluralism has been manifested by the creation of social and political institutions that work to affect the government's influence over the American citizenry or the American citizenry over the government.
American Pluralism Today
- American pluralism has even greater implications for an American society that is increasingly socially, culturally and politically diverse.
- Increasing diversity presents a safegaurd against the capture or control of government by one faction.
- The 2004 election year and outcome manifests the value and application of pluralism in American society.
- Some experts maintain that Madison's concept of an indefinitely expanding pluralism is impossible or limited, especially in regard to the economic disparity inherent in an increasingly multicultural society.