The Establishment

The Establishment

"The Establishment" is a pejorative term used to refer to the traditional ruling class elite and the structures of society that they control. The term can be used to describe specific entrenched elite structures in specific institutions, but is usually informal in application and pejorative. For example, candidates for political office are often said to have to impress the "party establishment" in order to win endorsement.

In the 1960s and 1970s, "The Establishment" was seen as representing restrictive, authoritarian policies. As the old fashioned way of doing things, it was associated with age and was said to be dominated by members of the war generation who had not yet accepted or adapted to the big societal changes of the decade. In the 1980s, conservative critics (particularly in the United States and the United Kingdom) began to assert that liberals had become the new "Establishment". Sociologically, one who does not belong to "The Establishment" is an "outsider". [ Norbert Elias, "The Established and the Outsiders" (1965), and "Scientific Establishments and Hierarchies" (ed. with others) (1982).]

See also

* Anti-establishment
* Establishment of religion
* The Man
* Military-industrial complex


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