Short biography of Vilfredo Pareto (1848-1923)

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In the hope to be labelled as scientific, Pareto stated that sociology should use a logico-experimental method, which meant something that could be empirically observed.

This method was based solely on observation, means to say, to study social reality which exists in real life, and logical inference. By logical inference he meant to study several social phenomena and derive a conclusion in a logical, orderly manner.

Pareto firmly believed that human beings are unequal physically, mentally and morally. In all social groups there are some people who are far more intelligent and capable than others. It is these people who become the elite in any social group or society as a whole. Pareto defined elite as ‘a class of the people who have the highest indices in their branch of activity.’

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Pareto distinguished between the governing elites and the non-governing elites. Governing elites are those individuals who directly or indirectly play an important part in the government, while the non- governing elites comprise the rest of the elite population.

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