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The Constitution of Status,106 Yale L. J. 2313 (1997)


Democracies are societies. Behind the formal features of democratic selfgovernance- whether regular elections or majority rule-lie social organization and social structure. Like other societies, democracies have varying degrees of social stratification and social hierarchy, group competition and group subordination. But democracies are special in this respect: Their political ideals seem partly in tension with their social structures. Democracy is more than a commitment to a set of procedures for resolving disputes. It is more than a culture of respect for those procedures. Democratic ideals seem to require a further commitment to democratic forms of social structure and social organization, a commitment to social as well as political equality.

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