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Establishment is a generalized, mostly negatively used term used by activists and social critics of western societies, which refers to the controlling structures of modern society. The "establishment" is often said to be holding a lock on wealth and societal organization.

In the 1960's and 1970's "The Establishment" became seen as representing restrictive, authoritarian approaches. It was associated with age, as the old fashioned way of doing things, the status quo.

An establishment can also mean a place of business or residence.

See also: anti-establishment.