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Social Change - Power Theory

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Angels & Demons by Dan Brown:

This book represents the patterns of Power Theory in fiction. The Power Theory of Social Change is well-supported by scholars such as C. Wright Mills, who describes how the American power elite have managed to stay in power through more than four eras and into a fifth, and Art Klein, who “asserts that many organizations have been co-opted by elites, whose purpose is to serve their own, and their children’s, needs” (Bishop, 2012, p. 155)

In Angels & Demons, The Pope has died, and Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon is once again called to decipher the clues of a terrifying plot to steal antimatter research that can be used to create a weapon of mass destruction. To determine the Pope’s successor, a conclave has been called to select from among four preferitti. However, in an elaborate revenge scheme, a mysterious secret society called the Illuminati (There they are again! They’re everywhere!) has kidnapped and murdered the four cardinals. It is a race against time to uncover the secret clues that threaten to blow up the Vatican.

Key Theorists / Tenants:

  • C. Wright Mills’ (1957) “The Power Elite” describes how military, corporate, and political elements of society work together to render ordinary citizens powerless

  • Art Kleiner (2003) “Who Really Matters” revealed that many organizations have been co-opted by a core group of influential individuals


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