In political and sociological theory, the elite (French élite, from Latin eligere, to select or to sort out) are a small group of powerful people who hold a disproportionate amount of wealth, privilege, political power, or skill in a society. Defined by the Cambridge Dictionary, the "elite" are "those people or organizations that are considered the best or most powerful compared to others of a similar type."American sociologist C. Wright Mills states that the power elite members recognize other members' mutual exalted position in society. "As a rule, 'they accept one another, understand one another, marry one another, tend to work, and to think, if not together at least alike'." "It is a well-regulated existence where education plays a critical role. Youthful upper-class members attend prominent preparatory schools, which not only open doors to such elite universities as Harvard, Columbia, Dartmouth College, Yale, and Princeton, but also to the universities' highly exclusive clubs. These memberships in turn pave the way to the prominent social clubs located in all major cities and serving as sites for important business contacts".