Date of Award

2013

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

Department

Sociology

First Advisor

Jimy Sanders

Abstract

The existence of an elite class within societies is often a topic of research in the study of inequality of power and influence. Researchers, however, acknowledge that the nature and composition of the elite varies. Trinidad and Tobago, with its colonial history and diverse population has had to confront issues surrounding access to power by various groups within the society. One driving force of the 1970s Black Power Revolution was the practice of color discrimination in the banking industry. Informed by Mills' (1956) elite theory and rooted in Beckford's (1972) economic theory, this project surveys the elite of Trinidad and Tobago. I examine three important national sectors: business, the judiciary, and the National Senate - all appointed positions - to explore which groups have access to positions of power and influence. Information was collected with regards to individuals' terms of service or length of appointments, type of appointment, ethnicity, religion, gender and the high school they graduated from. While some of the data are incomplete, women are unrepresented and Whites over-represented across all three sectors.

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