better than thou, pompous, superior

Competitive, pedigree, snobbish

Educated, Cultured, Established

Harvard, special,

high class, success, authority

high-class, wealth, privilege

intellectual, social, school

Ivy League, politics, Social ladder, Noblesse Oblige

Matter of Opinion

money, exclusive, Gatsby

Money, Galas

movies, branding, ego

power, experienced, knowledgeable

Powerful, Soldier, Politician, Wealth

prestige, private torrent tracker

prestige, rich, connected

rich, exclusive, wealthy

rich, important, famous

rich, powerful, babies

rich, powerful, few people

rich, privileged, arrogant, influential

rich, snobbish, mansion

suits, ties, professional tones, well-paid

superior, intelligent, MIT

top, best, ivory tower

unmerited power, aristocracy, segregation

wealthy, privileged, succcessful

cerveau, dirigeant, savoir

chef, intelligence, travail

chercheurs, cerveau, réflexion

communauté, force, domination

dirigeant, intelligente, modèle

haute technologie, réussite, domination


Intelligence, compétition, supérieur

intelligence, décisionnaire, Etat

Intelligence, le meilleur, entraînement

minorité, supériorité, argent, intelligence

Pensée, richesse, pouvoir

Portugal, richesse

pouvoir, recherche

prétentieux, travail, national

prétention, excellence, isolement

puissance, privilégiés, décision

restreint, savoir, pouvoir

Sélectif, études, rêve

supériorité, pointure, excellence


It is interesting that the French view "elite" as positive and Americans think "elite" has a negative connotation. Here, elite can refer to people who are intelligent, but it typically refers to the intelligent people who will only associate with other intelligent people, or rich people who will only associate with other rich people. Many people want to be intelligent and rich, but elitism is a bad thing that we try to avoid. 

Who are the elite in France? Is the elite a separate social class?

I also agree with Lauren.  I find it very strange that the French view the elites in society as normal people who are just a little bit more knowledgeable.  I think that the reason why we view people from the elite as very pompous is because of the media (movies, tv shows, etc) and because of personal experiences.

Anyhow, in France, how do you classify the elite.  Is it not as apparent in daily life?

I also agree with both Carlos and Lauren.  I think that we see the Elite negatively because we associate Elite with celebrities.  I thought it was interesting that one of the words that kept repeating on the French side is intelligence when it came up rarely on the American side.

So, who are consdiered elite in France? scientists? politicians?

Il y a plusieurs façons de concidérer les élites. Apparemment la façon la plus naturelle que nous avons de le faire est de penser que l'élite dans un milieu, prenont le sport, est composé des personne très doué et meilleur que les autres dans leur domaine. On ne le voit pas de façon négative, c'est d'ailleurs le contraire faire partie de l'élite signifie que l'on est très bon dans ce que l'on fait. 


Are there people who resent the elite in France who did not work hard for their money or titles, but who are only elite because of their family name?

I found it surprising and extremely refreshing that the word elite has such a positive connotation in France.  I also like that intelligence is so highly associated with the word "elite."  In the US, we feel that elite has a negative connotation, like Lauren said, and it is generally associated with simply being very rich.

Forgot to ask my question:  how much "old money" is there today in France?  Are there families who have been extremely rich for generations?  Are they looked down upon?

On the American side there was mention of Ivy League schools like Harvard, which are sometimes associated with the social elites. Do you have such a system in France, and how common is it to find schools that are predominantly for the well-off or 'elites'?

I think that is a good thing that in France the elites are not tied in a negative way.  I find it interesting that the way we perceive the elite is negative.  What do you think about our reactions Alain? Did you think we would react as such to the word "elite?"