Pluralism is a belief that a multitude of different groups maintain power within the United States of America in a variety of ways. Although the term pluralism itself can pertain to a multitude of topics, in the legal sense it involves the distribution of power and the ability of specific groups to affect the determination of justice within a legal setting. The various groups referenced in this definition, as it pertains to legality, include ethnic groups, political groups, associations with common beliefs and any other organized group that has the ability to wield some amount of power within the legal system.
In a political sense, as well as a legal one, it is a common belief among many citizens of the United States that the country is not ruled by the people themselves but rather the various groups that comprise the entire population. Strictly speaking the definition of pluralism can refer to the position of two roles in society, this may be as one individual within the vast population, or as a member of a group that has its own political or legal influence. An example of this can include the selection of a jury during a legal trial, as one is always considered to be judged by their peers. Pluralism in this sense refers to the selection of individuals based on the accused person’s race and gender, and perhaps their financial standing as well.
In a broad sense it is believed by many that this system of government works, but among many pluralism scholars there is also a common belief that democracy as a system is unmanageable and requires for select groups to take the initiative. The groups in question are usually banded together by similarities relating to ethnicity or gender, political agenda, or in some cases even by profession. The effectiveness of these groups is often determined by their amount of actual power, a term that refers not to their potential power but their actual ability to cause or initiate change within society.
Actual power can be derived from a number of sources including money or wealth, or in select circumstances the sheer will and charisma of an individual and the strength of the cause. The ruling of the United States by smaller groups rather than the collective whole is a system that works in the eyes of many and for that reason there are a multitude of coalitions including people from all sectors of the community who have banded together to unite for a common purpose. There is power in these groups when they are organized and managed correctly but unless the cause is just they are less likely to succeed based on the sheer power of public opinion and the spread of information pertaining to their purpose and methods.
In many cases the actual power of these groups is reliant upon how they conduct themselves and what the nature of their cause and purpose may be. Even a group with actual power can fail in its cause if its leadership is inadequate or flawed, while some of the most well-intended groups fail to even be noticed due to a lack of funding or resources.
In a broad sense this method of governing the country works although many individuals express a dissatisfaction with the notion that their opinion means very little in comparison to groups that wield power due to their political and monetary influence.