Essay On Barack Obama's Bases Of Power

1111 Words5 Pages
Power can be translated to the “ability to influence others” (Agunis, Pierce, & Simonsen, 1998, p. 456). Barack Obama has influenced millions in his lifetime by taking the power he desires to have, from being an attorney, moving up to Illinois State Senator, to becoming a US President for two terms. While he was a Senator in 2004 he was invited to speak at the Democratic National Convention. In his Keynote Address, he expressed different bases of power as he spoke. The bases of power, as explained by Agunis, Pierce, and Simonsen, are reward, coercive, legitimate, referent, and expert. Obama especially exercises three of the bases in his speech, as well as powerful talk. Referent power is considered to be the desire to be associated with the speaker, legitimate power is based off…show more content…
390). Because dominance can be loosely defined as “the ability to control interactions with others” (Cashdan, 1998, p. 210), Obama controls the interactions with the audience by talking over the applause, such that as he did after continuing from his joke. Before he interrupts the audience, he pauses in his speech, and only he has the power of when those pauses will end. With these decisions of when to interrupt the audience, he has the power to control the interactions with the audience, such when his words are emphasized for importance. He can dominate their reactions to him in the length of his pauses. He uses dominance to take a very slight pause when he stumbled on his words, like that of when he was saying his parents are looking down on him. He also used dominance to take a long dramatic pause when expressing what “magical” place his father went to study. He takes this dramatic pause before declaring that America is the magical place his father went to because he wants the audience to realize the emphasis of importance on
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