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His imperviousness to the firestorm over his sexist remarks appears to reflect the support of a power structure that is largely unaccountable to the public, works to preserve the old guard and freezes out the critical voices of younger people.

The last section works to preserve the old guard and freezes out the critical voices of younger people seems to be the apposition of the support of a power structure that is largely unaccountable to the public.

If so, the term works should be a noun. But I have found it difficult to point out the exact meaning of the familiar word works with confidence, although it apparently means the figurative sense of apparatus or machinery. In short, I could not find a suitable entry in the section of the noun work in a couple of dictionaries.

What exactly does the word works mean and grammatically function?

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    'makes every effort' / 'strives'. A power structure that is X, V2s and V3s. A man that eats, shoots, and leaves. Feb 17 at 12:14
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I think the correct interpretation is that the power structure

is unaccountable to the public

works to preserve the old guard

freezes out the voices of younger people.

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  • In other words, you take structure to be the subject of works. This is indeed the most reasonable reading of the sentence, although it should probably be acknowledges that so far as its syntax alone is concerned (i.e. abstracting from the meaning), the sentence is ambiguous: the reading offered in the other answer, which takes imperviousness as the subject of works, is also possible.
    – jsw29
    Mar 7 at 17:27
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"Works" here is a verb meaning "function to", like "the fallen tree trunk works as a bridge across the creek."

The whole sentence is read in 3 parts: The noun phrase is "His imperviousness to the firestorm over his sexist remarks". This noun phrase does 3 things:

  1. Appears to reflect the support of a power structure

  2. Works to preserve the old guard

And

  1. Freezes out the critical voices of younger people.

Since "works" here means function, number 2 is saying, it basically preserves the old guard, whatever that may be.

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