The 10 Lenses: Are You an Elitist?

By: | May 5, 2017

Elitists believe in the preeminence of the upper class and embrace the importance of identity factors such as family roots, having refined tastes, attending elite universities and having prominent social networks and status. Additional attributes stereotypically associated with elitism include being cosmopolitan, living in the northeast, and being liberal. The elites: it’s a term that’s been picking up more and more momentum on both the left and right. An erosion of confidence in the competence and fairness of important societal institutions, such as government, media, education and law enforcement, has caused a steady loss of faith not only in the institutions but also in the elites, whom most middle-class Americans regard as the people responsible for leading those institutions. Elitism replicates itself throughout the society in subsets of various communities. For example what is considered elite within various groups e.g., being a chef, may be specific to that group of people. It’s important to remember that all lenses make contributions to society and the Elitist lens is no different.


  • Are deeply imbued with noblesse oblige and carry a sense of responsibility about taking care of those “less fortunate” than they are.
  • Are interested in bringing socially conscious programs to their organizations and communities.
  • Dedicate much of their time, energy and financial resources to causes they believe in.
  • Have a strong desire to establish and maintain high standards, and will challenge the system and its leaders to do so.
  • Can bring prominence and positive public relations benefits to the organizations with which they work or are affiliated.


  • Can be insensitive to the financial, educational or social difficulties experienced by those not born to the privileged class.
  • Can ignore or belittle contributions made by those who do not belong to the Elitist’s “club.”
  • May be oblivious to how others are unwilling to take them seriously because they are perceived as not having earned what they have acquired, in organizational positions wealth or recognition.
  • May have difficulty interacting on an informal basis with co-workers or subordinates who do not come from the same esteemed background.

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