Elites and Society

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Elites, elitism and society

Elites, elitism and society

For Gaetano Mosca, there is only one form of government, and that’s the oligarchic form of governance, so the dominance of a minority is present in any political regime, regardless of denominations. Likewise, in every society there are two classes of people: the rulers (these are the elites who have the political power) and the governed (the rest of the society). More specifically, Mosca states: "In all societies, from the least developed and barely reaching the threshold of civilization to the most advanced and powerful societies, two classes of people have emerged: one ruling Class and one Class that is ruled. The first class, always fewer in number, performs all political functions, monopolizes power and enjoys all the favors that this power brings, while the second class, the largest class, is governed and controlled by the first, in a form that is considered to be more or less legal, more or less arbitrary and violent, and supplies the first, at least visibly speaking, with the means of living and the instruments that are essential to the vitality of the political organization.
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Appointed Elites in the Political Parties – Albania Case

Appointed Elites in the Political Parties – Albania Case

The aim of the party is to maximise the membership and penetrate very deep in society. An example of this is the preparation of the party for the local elections of 24 July 1996. The Democratic Party started the preparations since October 1995. The preparations consisted to the reorganization of the all branches, and sub branches of the party. The members were instructed to be in close contact with the people of their community and keep detailed lists on the voters’ preferences. Expressions such as ‘Return to the base’ were articulated on the 5th Anniversary of the party (12 December 1995) to express the importance of the membership. Furthermore the party put much effort to increase the membership all over the country. In December 1995 it had 2,407 sections in all the districts. In the end of 1995, the Democratic Party had become a purpose on itself. Therefore, on the occasion of the 5th anniversary of the party, the Structure and Organization Secretary declared that the ‘consolidation of the structure of the party, was the most important organizational activity of the Democratic Party; (Political Notes, 1995, p. 26). The party’s strategy to win the elections was its regeneration and penetration in society (Political Notes, 1995, p.24-34). It is also important to mention that the party organizations, branches and sub-branches are formed around the polling stations and electoral districts (Kajsiu, 2005, p.143). In this way the party is able to design its strategy based on electoral districts for having better results.
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Religion, Warrior Elites, and Property Rights

Religion, Warrior Elites, and Property Rights

Other work argues that religious institutions and doctrine can serve as alternatives to family, community, and government in defining and protecting property rights (Hull and Bold 1989, 1994). Fukuyama (1995) makes a similar argument. In fact, the historical prevalence of religion may reflect its secular role as a low cost instrument for defining and enforcing property rights. The basic rationale is that if a populace believes adherence to or violations of an established set of rules will result in some sort of divine reward or punishment, people will tend to follow those rules. The symbiotic relationship between a society and a religion will direct religions toward such things as non-salvageable, quality- assuring capital including large religious structures, priestly garb, and unique icons. Further, the religion’s doctrines about the afterlife in general and about rewards for good behavior or punishment for bad behavior after death will change in predictable ways as religion is more or less important in property rights enforcement. Religion’s temporal reward and punishment structure will follow a similar pattern. Research focusing on the High Middle Ages supports the argument (Clegg and Reed 1994; Hull 1989).
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Religion, Warrior Elites, and Property Rights

Religion, Warrior Elites, and Property Rights

This framework suggests a possible societal path. A more localized society possessing an effective religion experiences economic growth because it has a defined and divinely enforced property rights system. With increased wealth and trade, growth takes two forms. There is a transition to greater specialization and trade with other societies as well as geographic expansion which pushes the geographic extent of the society outward. In both instances there is contact with people who may be less inclined to follow the religion-based property rights system. In other words, a society with a successful religion-based property rights system may have an inherent tendency to a evolve to one in which religion plays a declining relative role and institutions for coercive enforcement become increasingly important.
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Run by the poor for the poor? : social elites in the early modern public house

Run by the poor for the poor? : social elites in the early modern public house

Even a quick glance at this evidence produces impressions not easily squared with the overall thesis outlined above. A rare record of a tavern visitation (for the German principality of Lippe around 1800), for instance, reveals that no group in local society was significantly over- or under-represented among the patrons. 5 Just looking at some of the buildings themselves also casts doubt on the notion that they merely targeted the lowest social groups. Inns like the Alte Wirt at Obermenzing near Munich (rebuilt in 1589-90 at the behest of its ultimate owner, the duke of Bavaria) were state-of-the-art constructions, involving prominent architects, above-average financial resources and attractive interior decorations. They were easily the most striking secular buildings in their communities and it must have seemed perfectly respectable to use their facilities.
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Dispossession by ‘Development’: Corporations, Elites and NGOs in Bangladesh

Dispossession by ‘Development’: Corporations, Elites and NGOs in Bangladesh

and private sectors. Since the country was formed in 1971, the NGO sector has experienced phenomenal growth, evolution and diversification, delivering public goods to such an extent that Rehman Sobhan (1997) has forecast an erosion of state sovereignty. This role developed in the aftermath of the war of independence from Pakistan, a time when much of the country’s infrastructure was destroyed, poverty was rampant and Henry Kissinger infamously referred to the country as a ‘bottomless basket case’ (White 1999: 307). In this early period NGOs were predominantly focussed on rural poverty. Over the 1970s two of the country’s leading NGOs, BRAC and the Grameen Bank, had been experimenting with a cooperative approach to rural community development. The assumption of a cohesive village society was, however, fractured. In the late 1970s, a BRAC initiated study, The Net: Power Structure in Ten Villages, reported on widespread corruption and exploitation in the programmes (BRAC 1980). Disillusioned by the cooperative model, the Grameen Bank began to work exclusively with poor women through a model of collateral free small credit. Meanwhile other pioneering NGOs, including BRAC and PROSHIKA, used Paolo Freire’s theory of ‘conscientisation’ as a source of inspiration for critical literacy programmes. The language and appeal of activism drew numerous left leaning university graduates to these NGOs. Along with small-scale economic activities, skill training, and collateral free credit, young educated NGO field organisers carried out critical literacy—an iterative educational method to evoke critical reflections and political consciousness among its participants. This led to some early successes in which landless people accessed khas (government owned) land or common property, though challenges were to follow from both local elites and the state (Rafi 2003).
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Power Elites in Pakistan: Creation, Contestations, Continuity

Power Elites in Pakistan: Creation, Contestations, Continuity

A final question is whether the presence of these power elites was helpful to nation-building. Since elites act in their own self-interest, as shown by the landlords’ obstruction of reform and by West Pakistan’s corporate elites’ monopolisation of export contracts, the answer is likely negative. Behuria (2009), sharing the opinions of scholars like Alavi (1976) and Jalal (1995), cited reasons such as the consequence of the persisting disjunction between “the processes of state construction and political processes which resulted from its skewed relationship between a relatively stable bureaucratic apparatus, inherited from its colonial past, and an unstable political system.” The power elite presiding over the operation of the state machinery had been accused of seeking to perpetuate the class structures in the society that was hardly egalitarian by playing on intra-societal divides as a method to retain its hold over power (Rizvi, 2000). This is a view shared by other perceptive observers like Khaled Ahmed, Irfan Hussain, Rasul Bakhsh Rais, Zahid Hussain, and Ardeshir Cowsjee.
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European Elites and Ideas of Empire, 1917-57

European Elites and Ideas of Empire, 1917-57

from Constantinople to America, as well as travels in the Middle East, the Mediterranean, Nepal and India. She used her gifts of eloquence and invention to become a spiritual leader to Western enthusiasts in the East. When in the United States, she encountered the former Civil War military officer Olcott, who had actually undertaken to expose new occultist lean- ings in America. Born in New Jersey, he was a Presbyterian farmer and expert in agriculture who had once been invited to take the chair of scientific agriculture in Athens but instead became a journalist before joining the Civil War with the Union army. It was as a journalist reporting on the occult that he became persuaded by Blavatsky´s skills as a seer, and eventually the two formed a movement called the Theosophical society, founded in 1875 in Adyar, Madras (now Chennai), India. Between 1886 and 1908, the society quickly spread, opening chapters in America, New Zealand, Australia, and several European countries, including England, France, and Russia. By 1896, its declared goals were a ‘universal brother- hood without distinction of race, creed, sex, caste or colour’, a comparative approach to religion, philosophy and science, and the belief in ‘powers latent in men’ that could be recovered. 52 Among the most promi- nent European members of the society was Rudolf Steiner, who, having opened the German chapter, eventually split o ff from the society and became the founder of his own, the Anthroposophical society. In Britain, a number of Fabian socialists and other prominent intellectuals were members of the society. In the United States, Unitarian architect Frank Lloyd Wright was close to the society along with his wife, the dancer Olgivanna (Olga Ivanovna Hinzenburg, of Montenegrin nobility). Throughout its years in existence, the society recruited more members who were considered gurus, such as Jiddu Krishnamurti, who was educated to become a guru from an early age, but eventually also split away from the society. Other figures of similar status, such as the gurus Gurdjieff and Ouspensky, had respect for the Theosophists but never joined them.
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The role of networks and connections in educational elites’ labour market entrance

The role of networks and connections in educational elites’ labour market entrance

The research evidence presented in this article is based on an ESRC-funded project on the way talent, merit, and elite employability are conceived by elite students in England and France. Both countries have specific elite educational institutions that train most of the nation’s elites. In France renowned elite universities, the Grand écoles such as the Écoles Normales Supérieures and École Polytechnique play this role. Hartmann (2007) observes a deep social homogeneity of its members based on a significant social selection and a consciousness of belonging between alumni and students. The author also shows that top positions in all the important sectors and society are taken up almost exclusively by graduates of the Grand Ecoles despite only representing a marginal share of the population. In England the Universities of Cambridge and Oxford are often considered to be the two most obvious elite higher education institutions. Their social recruitment and educational association with elite labour market positions is similar to France. Hartmann (2007, 70) notes that the two university are less socially homogenous and produce more graduates than the most elite types of Grand Ecoles. For this reason the old boys’ network related to these institutions are less tight and less organised. However, English elite ‘public’ secondary schools can produce such a network.
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Gender as Symbolic Capital and Violence: The Case of Corporate Elites in Turkey

Gender as Symbolic Capital and Violence: The Case of Corporate Elites in Turkey

Whilst highlighting the paradox of continuity and change regarding gender relations in Turkish society, we make three significant theoretical contributions. First, framing gender as symbolic capital is not only a peculiarity attributed to and monopolized by men, but it is tactically conceived and constantly reconfigured by all actors involved in struggles of power. Second, symbolic violence functions here not only as a one-way relation of domination, but rather as a tactical move for ultimately establishing a hidden status quo, where women are clearly placed in the inferior ranks. More importantly, through our fieldwork in Turkey, we contest the common expectation that a greater number of women in elite positions may help combat the patriarchal organization of relations at work and family and challenge the existing dominating structures. Instead, we show that, in the absence of other gender equality measures to foster cultural change, the patriarchal gender order continues to relegate women to secondary status, even among elite business families, where men are still given the first choice of access to senior posts. Third, as another important contribution of this study, this does not mean that men do not suffer from patriarchal domination, even though they seem to be the main perpetrators of it (Connell, 1995). In fact, our study illustrates that the men holding the most powerful positions are the ones who suffer the most from patriarchal pressure to organize their private as well as their professional lives. Male executive managers had to follow the strictly designed and firmly imposed route already traced for them, usually by their fathers. In sum, although gender is associated with male domination, by placing men in apparently superior positions, both sexes are subject to entirely dissimilar processes of subjugation to a systemic use of symbolic violence. As such, symbolic violence serves as a tactical tool for ensuring reproduction of the gender order among men and women in the upper echelons.
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The Third Revolution  Professional Elites in the Modern World

The Third Revolution Professional Elites in the Modern World

This marks the point at which historical scholarship takes a back seat and politics, polemics, and prejudices take over. It is not a point reached in the accounts of France, Germany, and Japan, where exemplary growth records are taken to excuse a certain amount of illiberal, paternalist, and elitist behaviour; each one in turn is credited with creating a model or ideal form of professional society, but in the final analysis it is only the German model, with its apparently well-nigh perfect social market economy, which earns full marks.(24) These chapters, in which the 'master conflict' makes no appearances, are useful surveys of the post-1945 economic history of these countries, with an emphasis on government economic policies, and contain all that a busy businessman may need to know about enarques, pantouflages, amakudari, yokosuberi, jinmyaku, or the Leitungsgesellschaft which is the West German achievement society. Likewise there is no sign of the master conflict in the Soviet chapter, but naturally the nomenklatura have a substantial airing, and the paradox of a communist economy imploding because its privileged and grasping elite appropriated for itself more surplus value than actually existed is duly savoured. What all seven countries, except Germany, are found to have in common are greed and corruption, from the wholesale fraud, embezzlement, and bribery practised by Soviet apparatchiks , through the systematic bribery of Japanese politicians by the big corporations, and the apparently general corruption in French local government contracts, to the more 'legitimate' but dubiously ethical machinations of junk bond merchants in the U. S. or take-over conmen in Britain. This is attributed to the professional elites who are 'good servants but bad masters'(25), and when they have power are liable to abuse it, exploit the masses, and line their own pockets. At this point one cannot help concluding that there is nothing new under the sun, that ruling elites or cliques have always been tempted to enrich themselves, and that corruption, even blatant and very large- scale corruption, is not an invention of professional society. The infinitely rapacious emperor Bokhassa, who managed to appropriate personally a significant fraction of the pitiful GNP of his impoverished country, might be an example of contemporary corruption on a colossal scale achieved without benefit of professional society.
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Taste matters : cultural capital and elites in proximate strategic action fields

Taste matters : cultural capital and elites in proximate strategic action fields

Vargar Llosa. One of our interviewees was an aficionado of classical Spanish literature, in particular ‘La generación del 98’ 2 ; another was very interested in poetry (e.g. Antonio Machado); yet another recounted his youth where his favourite pastime was writing poetry in Latin. Unlike the Big 4 accountants who were culturally laconic and to the point in terms of what they read and why, Sindicos Mayores were much more elaborate in their communication about literature, keen to embellish, explaining what they saw as the value or weaknesses in particular books or genres. For example, one interview broached the subject of the nature of man when describing Saramago’s book Cain as ‘a prodigy of description of revenge against the power of God’ (Public Sector 4). Yet another was keen to discuss the nature of divisions in society when he explained to us how a recent book had prompted him to reflect about ‘the gratuitous nature of conflicts throughout history’ (Public Sector 8). Our public auditor interviewees were highly articulate when discussing literary canons.
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Corporate governance and elites

Corporate governance and elites

Second, this research has generated important insights regarding the connections between religion, elites and corporate governance. Whereas political and cultural elites have attracted attention amongst scholars, the literature examining religious elites is extremely scarce. The emergence and the subsequent influence wielded by elites over corporate choices are explained by the herding power of religion notably in high religiosity environments. Our study has indicated that the degree of religiosity in society, and the concerns bordering on social security and poverty, inform and strengthen the presence and influence of religious elites. The implication for corporate governance is that in environments where there are opportunity spaces to engage in unethical practices by elites (such as corruption among religious leaders), devotees (i.e. stakeholders) are gradually motivated to operate by the (unethical) ideals of their religious leaders. This finding extends the scope of ‘actors’ discussed in the institutionalism literature, as this study demonstrates that religious elites can provoke institutional changes. Ahrens and Ferry (2016) affirm the importance of emotions (consistent with religion) in institutional change.
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Islam and politics: political attitudes of the elites in Muhammadiyah 1998-2010

Islam and politics: political attitudes of the elites in Muhammadiyah 1998-2010

The earliest form of the Islamic state was based in Medina, the next Muslim civilization moved into Damascus (Syria) under Umayyah Empire for less than one century (661-750 C). Moreover, after the failure of Umayyah Empire and the leadership was replaced by King of Abul Abbas, center of Muslim empire was shifted into Baghdad (Iraq) under Abbasiyah Empire during two centuries (750-950 C). During two these kingdoms, the main problem of Muslim society were competing to dominate the territory and power. Even during Ottoman Empire in Turkey for slightly above six centuries (1294-1924 C), the main agenda of Muslim leadership was occupying various countries through Asia, Africa as well as Europe. To sum up this section, Islamic history was taught us that the relationship between Islam and politics are the con- nection between power and occupying territory among itself Muslim. 14
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European elites of the European Union: what vision for the future?

European elites of the European Union: what vision for the future?

Italian leaders have been even more positive about all aspects of European integration than the Germans, although they too are reticent on further enlargement. Italian leaders’ discourse since Alcide De Gasperi presented Italy as the enthusiastic follower, with an Italian-as-European identity serving as a source of national pride, and with the EU itself serving as the rescue of the nation-state. 38 Italy in the postwar period was a country riven by vast cleavages—politically between right and left, territorially between north and south, and religiously between practicing Catholics and non- believers—and suffering from political immobilism and state incapacity despite a flourishing economy and a vibrant society. European integration was therefore key to overcoming state incapacity and parliamentary inefficiency with reforms that, without the EU, could not have passed. The Italian vision of Europe, as a result, is one in which Europe is the opposite of Italy, and therefore to be embraced for its effective governance, rule of law, transparency with regard to decision-making, and more. National pride also mattered with regard to European integration, and was intimately linked to the identity issues. While Germany found itself at the heart of Europe, not only economically and geographically but also as a central motivating factor, Italy was more on the margins, and very afraid of not belonging to the club. Its heroic efforts to join the euro, by finally getting the public budget under control and even instituting a eurotax (the only in Europe), was not only about economics; it was also about identity. 39 Italy’s
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Selling debt: interrogating the moral claims of the financial elites in Central Asia

Selling debt: interrogating the moral claims of the financial elites in Central Asia

Hirschman (1982) argues that markets can be a benign force that tames wild passions, and liberates society from traditional bonds to achieve material improvements. But equally ascriptive relationships and customs can limit the beneficial effects of markets. Several interviewees described how banks and microfinance companies were trying to civilise and discipline borrowers by tackling cultural attitudes and practices. Jyldyz, a senior manager at the International Finance Corporation (IFC), maintained that market virtues of prudence and punctuality were important for the financial sector, but also difficult to cultivate among the Kyrgyz population:
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Immigrants or Elites?: Contextualizing the Motivation of the Rural American Vote in the Trump Era

Immigrants or Elites?: Contextualizing the Motivation of the Rural American Vote in the Trump Era

Not only is the importance of education level something that is persistently debated, an individual's education level also tends to be an indicator of partisanship and voting behavior. As Sides, Tesler and Vavreck found, “Trump’s strength among white voters without college degrees [...] helped explain why a relatively small but important fraction of Obama voters ended up voting for him” (2018,155-156). In 2016 it was found that level of education was particularly important for white voters. In fact, those with a high school degree or less were 24 percentage points more Republican than Democratic and those with some college education or a technical school degree were 19 percentage points more Republican than Democrat (Sides, Tesler and Vavreck 2018, 26). The correlation between education level and Party ID in 2016 shows an attitude that pushes back against higher education which is associated with many politicians and the upper, elite class of society.
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Elites and modernity in Mozambique

Elites and modernity in Mozambique

As shown by Sheldon (2002) in her in-depth study of women’s history in Mozambique from the late pre-colonial period to the present, in many ways intimate relationships that did not directly lead to marriage and child birth are relatively new for most of Mozambique’s population. In the view of the party leadership, intimacy historically was directly tied to social and biological reproduction and, theoretically at least, was under the control of the wider family. Frelimo described this as the “feudalism” of the family. They felt this had to be abolished so women could enter society as full citizens and no longer be traded “like goods in a shop” according to the famous phrase of Samora Machel (Sheldon 2002). Some of the roots of this desire for change can be traced to the revolutionary elite’s social background under colonialism. During the colonial period traditional practices of marriage were considered “backwards” and the state prohibited them for many elites. Yet an “ideal” marriage focused on its wider social function, the creation of a strong and stable nuclear family unit dedicated to the production of children. Therefore marriages were often too important to be left to the choice of the couple alone, and familial supervision attempted to police relations both to consolidate social class and because of possible state sanctions (Sheldon 2002). While pre-material relationships and infidelity obviously occurred (sanctions were also much weaker for men) considerable effort was often expended on being discreet. The colonial state could rescind assimilado status for “immoral” conduct or what they viewed as “backsliding” into “heathen” African customs such as polygyny. Despite the numerous differences between the urban petty bourgeois and the majority of the population, concerned parents of both groups often tightly supervised sexuality and romantic intimacy. As one older Mozambican friend explained to me, when she began her courtship with her future husband, she was always chaperoned. The most daring activity she engaged in was to have secret phone calls from her fiancé that were unmonitored by her family. As numerous other informants explained to me, courtship was often very short and led to the immediate establishment of a family.
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Transnational Elites in the ILO and the EESC: Do non-governmental actors matter?

Transnational Elites in the ILO and the EESC: Do non-governmental actors matter?

The European Economic and Social Committee defines its purpose as a ‘bridge between Europe and organised civil society’ 1 , and was formally established by the 1957 Treaty of Rome. Its membership is divided into three groups: employers, workers and ‘various interests’, which covers a diverse range of civil society organisations. 2 The heritage of the EESC is clearly demonstrated by the fact that workers and employers federations have traditionally been the most coherently organised parts of society outside of political parties, and thus constitute the foundation of civil society. Each EU member state nominates candidates in each of the three groups to be elected to serve on the EESC for a renewable four-year term. The EESC has consequently grown in parallel to the EU, and currently has 344 members. Along with its size, its influence has also grown with the successive treaty revisions of the Single European Act (1986), the Maastricht Treaty (1992), the Amsterdam Treaty (1997) and the Treaty of Nice (2000). Its influence has been deepened through the increase in the number of issue areas in which consultation is mandatory, as well as being broadened into an organ to give guidance to the European Parliament. Furthermore, around 25 of the 150 opinions issued annually are ‘own- initiative opinions’, which allow the EESC to address any aspect of EU policy. From a cynical perspective the EESC appears to be little more than a token gesture towards greater democratic accountability to the wider European public, tokenistic because it does not fundamentally alter the fact that the majority of decision-making power
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Information and arena: The dual function of the news media for political elites

Information and arena: The dual function of the news media for political elites

Second, the mass media as a whole form a political arena. Elites use this arena to reach out to the public. In many ways, the media arena is comparable to other arenas, such as the parliamentary arena. Competing actors make statements, undertake actions and try to get the upper hand. There are specific rules of conduct that apply to playing in the media arena, just like there are rules for how to act in the parliamentary arena or government arena. The notion that politics occurs in different political arenas is a classic idea in political science, in particular in the party literature (e.g. Muller, 2000; Strøm, Müller, & Smith, 2010; Sjöblom, 1968; Strömbäck & Van Aelst, 2013). Each arena has different inclusion and exclusion criteria and is ruled by different procedures. While party scholars typically devote little or no attention to the mass media as a political arena, Strömbäck (2007) suggests that political actors also act in a media arena, where they interact with journalists and editors and try to maximize positive and minimize negative publicity. Also Lawrence (2001) considers the media as an arena in which problems and events are identified and defined through the interaction of different actors. The media arena does not operate separately from the other arenas; it influences and is influenced by what happens in the other venues (Strömbäck & Van Aelst, 2013; Kedrowksi, 1996; Sellers, 2010). Yet, for clarity’s sake, we think it is fruitful to conceptualize the media arena as a distinct arena in its own right.
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