Two models are used when discussing the power structures within the United States, the Pluralist model and the Power Elite Model.
The Pluralist model depends in social diversity and allows for the fact that not all people are interested in politics, but all people have the right to representation. This right is upheld through the use of special interest groups. By having a special interest group for every opinion, this allows all people to be represented and since the special interest group understands how the government works better than most individuals, the persons it represents stands a better chance of being heard than if they tried to represent themselves. Pluralists also believe that if the people don’t like what their representatives are doing, they will simply vote them out in the next election, thus ensuring that the representatives do what the majority wants.
The Power Elite model, on the other hand, represents a small group of people that have a excessive amount of money, exclusive rights and all encompassing power- such has global decision making ability. In the United States the Power Elite consist of the Corporate Community, Growth Coalitions, and what is known as the Growth/Formation Network. The Corporate Community consists of the social upper class- they tend to socialize with each other; their kids go to the same schools and colleges and they vacation and live in the same places. The Growth Coalitions are composed of the real estate companies, construction companies, land development companies, and other development companies. The Growth/Formation Network consists of members from the other two groups that have influence with or run charity foundations, non-profit organizations, and other such groups. While many of our leaders fall into this Power Elite group, this structure does not allow for those that do meet the requirements but have no interest in politics.