··Awarded the Descartes Prize 2004 of the European Commission·· How do gender inequalities translate at the top of politics and business? Is the gender gap eliminated for the most influential players in industrial democratic society? This informed and compelling analysis examines the demographic characteristics, family circumstances and career paths of a group of elite women. The book is noteworthy for being one of the first empirically based studies of women elites. Drawing on a sample from no less than 27 countries, a convincing and highly original picture is constructed that informs readers of career paths, values, social networks and gender battles for women elites. Co-ordinated by Mino Vianello and Gwen Moore, the research fills in a huge gap about how power actually operates in industrial-democratic societies. It enables us to test the view that substantial equality between the sexes has been achieved in the twenty first century. It constitutes a landmark work, both in the study of gender difference and the analysis of power. The findings will be of interest to academics and advanced students in a wide range of disciplines including stratification, globalization, political science, international relations, gender, sociology, organizational studies and much more.

Introduction

Introduction

Introduction

The topic ‘elite’ may be dealt with either in a few lines, or in many pages. There is no half way. In fact, it encompasses issues which are crucial to the social sciences, such as the relation between the distribution of wealth, prestige and power; the exercise of power and the composition of the group that holds it. The list is extensive.

Here, however, we intend to tackle the problem of elites from a particular perspective: that of the relationship between elite and gender – a relationship that has so far been ignored in the entire body of literature dealing with the issue of elites. Today, however, the stereotypical idea that the public arena is a man's world is no longer consistent with reality.

We therefore ...

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