What is the shape of the social power structure of the United States / Canada at this time? (triangle, square, upside triangle, diamond, rectangle)Identify where the upper,lower,middle class would...

What is the shape of the social power structure of the United States / Canada at this time? (triangle, square, upside triangle, diamond, rectangle)

Identify where the upper,lower,middle class would be in the shape. What kind of government is represented by the power structure of our society? Where do our political leaders fit in this hierarchy?

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pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

First of all, I don't think you should use the term "social" power structure because, to me, that implies that you are talking about who has the power to affect society (like what our values are, things like that).  It seems like you're talking more about a political power structure.

With regard to this more political power structure, I think its shape varies from issue to issue.  The more understandable the issue is, the more the mass of people (I suppose you'd say middle class) has power.  The less understandable and more technical it is, the more the power is confined to the upper classes (not so much because they're rich, but because they care about the issues and understand them).

So, for example, on abortion -- neither the government nor the upper class determines what happens on this issue.  It is enough of an understandable topic that the masses' voices rule.

By contrast, on an issue like how to regulate banks, only a few people (relatively speaking) know enough to have influence.  We can all be affected by what happens with that, but we don't know enough to have an influence on that area of policy.

I don't know how you would convert these to shapes, but my point is that the mass of people can have a huge impact on issues like gun rights, gay rights, and abortion.  But only the people "in the know" can affect things like bank regulation or cap and trade programs.