The importance of theoretical frameworks is essential for understanding foundations for political science. The definition of the word framework is a theory which can be used as a lens to look at a set of facts. (E.g., journalist look at a set of facts that tell a story of what happened). These frameworks in political science help build a strong foundation and advocate a precise sense of racial balance in the political arena. A social scientist tries to organize a set of facts into systemic theoretical passion. The Social scientists are trying to accomplish the facts they create can be used to explain a theory that can be applied to other sets of facts. The importance of these frameworks helps people gather important information and compare and contrast their different strengths and weaknesses.
The first traditional and most dominant framework to examine is Pluralism.
Pluralism can generally be defined as group politics in a free market society. Pluralism takes its roots from the founding of the nation. James Madison saw the United States as a stronger nation if there was conflict rather than a consensus. Madison points out in Federalist #10 that citizens would be divided into many factions that would compete for benefits. The chief cause of division when Madison wrote this was economics in origin, but now race has emerged as a major factor in dividing American society. Robert Dali founder of Pluralism modernizes Madison's theory into theory of American democracy to incorporate into the theory of pluralism.
Pluralism explains minority group politics in a process that attempts to show the strength of groups in the minority. In pluralism the theory assumes that there are non-cumulative inequalities in American politics. These inequalities would mean no group would be on the minority of a law being passed every time and that no group dominates every time either. The second part of the pluralism theory suggests that there is a multiple power center. A definition of multiple power center is when a minority group is denied access to influence one branch of government but may be able to influence politics or policy change in another part of the arena. Example, a group may be unable to pursue its goals of influence of the legislative branch but it might be able to influence the executive branch. The third assumption of the pluralist theory is non-cumulative groups have a number of political resources at their disposal. If a group does not have financial means it might make up for it numbers at the election booth. These assumptions of the pluralist theory shows advantage of group politics to the minority group but does account for some of the disadvantages of group politics in the entirety.
The pluralist theory has several weaknesses for minority groups of the political arena. Some Political groups do not have equal access to the political process. For example groups that don't have numbers and those without money are at a disadvantage. The significance of a prejudice society in the pluralist theory shows no significance of mention when talking about ethnic and racial minority groups. The minority and ethnic groups that this model represents are European immigrants. This theory also fails to represent the racial imbalance of groups that are deficient in lack of education, and job growth in an urban society. These are some of the major weaknesses that are dispersed when talking about Pluralism theory.
A traditional theory in political science that is always brought to light when talking about minority groups in the political area is the framework called the Elite theory. This theory is simply a Marxist type of government. People are afraid to admit that it is part of the society the people of the United States live in. The Elite theory suggest there are two kinds of people in society, the small but powerful elites and the large powerless masses. The racial and ethnic minorities are just part of the powerless masses. The Elite theory helps point out the problems facing the blindness in America.
The Elite theory strengths explains group politics by bringing to attention the weaknesses of the people as a whole including minority group politics, that minorities are just the same as everyone else other then the elite. The Elite's give a few crumbs to the masses to keep the people hopeful of the future. The masses will always be just one diversified group with no means of really getting anything accomplished. There has been a sociological reasoning of understanding the importance of social stratification that has allowed groups in positions to influence politics. As each and every position that group holds, puts some sort of implication that begins by distributing of power in the political system. Although the masses elect these officials, the officials are also bought by the elite, by giving them campaign contributions.
The weaknesses of the elite theory show an unclear system of how it reaches its goals. Its does not explain how it gathers and lumps all the minorities into the same group. It also doesn't consider the implications of a society that is not run by money but out of concern of future well being of its citizens.
There are some major similarities of the two frameworks of the pluralist theory and elite theory. Both of these frameworks explain group politics generally conceived to be implied only to race. Those who are on the lower rung of the socioeconomic ladder and less educated seemed to be disadvantaged by these two frameworks. The overlapping issues between these two theories help political scientists obtain a better understanding of minorities in political groups.
The Pluralism framework also has some conflicting interest with the Elite framework. The Elite framework is basically a type of communist government that its history lies with Marxism, which only a few people rule. While the pluralist type framework has some history as the goal of the framers, the United States Constitution gives the people the right to rule. The Pluralist framework allows minority groups to actively participate and change policies, while the Elite framework say minority groups cannot affect policy that they are just part of the masses. The Pluralist framework represents a strong nation which no one is always the minority when trying to get legislature passed. But the elite theory represents a weak nation because only things that get passed through legislation is only beneficial to the elite. These two frameworks that are so different have come to represent the ideas of the people of the United States have substantial differentiation between one idea to incorporate each other but have failed to give an actual compromise of balance.
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