ABSTRACT

This chapter offers a reflection on key aspects of the intellectual architecture of the book, going beyond a summary of content. The Politics of the Elite is a study of class formation at the top of the social hierarchies during the turbulent and rapidly changing early twenty-first century. Contrary to perceptions that privileged individuals exist according to little more than market and economic logics, we have shown that they are by no means absent from politics and civic engagement. Adopting a particular focus on reproduction, distinction, and politics, the book has delved into the complex relationship between the dynamics of cohesion and fragmentation that exist within the most privileged groups formed over the course of the contemporary neoliberal period. On the one hand, we state that these segments inhabit positions that increasingly benefit from both the old and new economic, cultural, and symbolic gaps that characterise present-day societies; on the other, we also argue that they work constantly to distinguish themselves and to reframe internal divisions at the top.