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power elite

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noun
  1. a closely knit alliance of military, government, and corporate officials perceived as the center of wealth and political power in the U.S.
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Origin of power elite

First recorded in 1950–55
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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power elite in Culture

power elite

A term used by the American sociologist (see sociology) C. Wright Mills to describe a relatively small, loosely knit group of people who tend to dominate American policymaking. This group includes bureaucratic, corporate, intellectual, military, and government elites who control the principal institutions in the United States and whose opinions and actions influence the decisions of the policymakers.

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The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.