The game is somehow based on the Plato's country structure.
You people live in the rural regions and cities. The Rural regions are inhabited by the people who produce raw resources: food and labor. These resources are transported to the cities.
People in the cities are actually doing something: exploring, going to wars, researching, building. They are the Strategilization's middle-class.
Also several city buildings give soft power for the upkeep in labor. The soft power generation reflect the existance of elite class in your country.
The tasks of Elite is to spread and support useful ideas in your cities as and regions, as well as in your rivals'.