The Quest for Representation in a Pluralist Democracy: Group-Centered Representation (or the Neopluralist Response)
This, then, is the dilemma facing the Court. The labyrinth of representational modes and means compels the existence of structures sensitive to collective voices. Group theory and its pluralist offshoot similarly presuppose the centrality of group participation in achieving effective individual political activity. However, disparities between groups, which muffle or exclude collective voices in the political arena, undermine these suppositions. Hence, representation theory requires structures that facilitate group politics and alleviate group inequities, while simultaneously enhancing individual political effectiveness.
One response to this dilemma is to conclude that groups are simply tools to perpetuate existing individual inequality, and to abandon the goal of collective equality in favor of direct participatory activity by individuals. At the core of the Progressive movement was an idyllic notion that the best democracy was built around unadulterated, unmediated interaction between citizen and government. But group theory indicates that while forms of direct participation may increase the individual's sense of import as political actor, the practical consequence in a mass democracy is a disconnect between the rulers and the ruled.