Power can be described as mental, as in, a very intelligent person has the power to influence others and events with their thoughts and ideas, or, power could be described as something physical, as in, a person has the power to lift, move, or fight someone or something, influencing the thoughts of others by their own actions. In the
Robert Bierstadt’s ‘An Analysis of Social Power’ is written to “clarify the meaning of the concept … and seek the sources of social power itself.” His first point is to separate power from dominance. Observation “power is a sociological, dominance a psychological concept” reveals that Bierstadt believes power is in social interactions whereas dominance is a mental belief that someone holds power over you. Also, opinion “power is not force” but “power itself is the predisposition of or prior capacity which makes the application of force possible… power is the ability to employ force” his example “your money or your life” exposes that force is different from power and it is the threat of the use of force that is power not force itself. Leading
The first group is the meaning of the word ‘Power’ in general. According to Dahl (1957), power is a relation between people which expressed in symbolic code. This relation is related to two or more persons. He also stated that if A has power over B, A can get B to do something even B does not want to do. The second group is the definition of the word ‘power’ in negative ways.
Power is an important part of the world and how it runs, but those who possess it do not always see it this way. Power is an extremely abstract idea. One can find many different variations of the word when asking for a definition person to person. The dictionary simply puts it as, “the capacity or ability to direct or influence the behavior of others…” which is a common theme that could be found between most people’s definitions of the word. We conceive power as a person’s ability to have others listen to him, and, most importantly agree with him.
What determines who is powerful and who is powerless in a society? Is the concept of power accessible to everyone or just certain individuals who possess incumbent resources? According to the Cambridge English dictionary, power is defined as the ability or right to control people and events, or to influence the way people act or think in important ways. Many people in modern society strive to reach an overall powerful status amongst others, for this is evident in the play, The Crucible by Arthur Miller. In certain instances, there are even different branches of the notion.
Power is used in our everyday life in many different forms, in many different ways, through many different people. But this leads to the question of what is really power? Power is when someone with a higher authority has the control over someone or something. Power was usually represented in the Renaissance with kings, queens, and or the churches. People of the lower, class such as peasants or knights, usually followed orders of those who held the higher power.
From viewing historic events people can come to conclude that groups are motivated by power. There are different types of power used by different actors to promote their own views. Soft power is used by actors to influence other actor. This power is a more congenial tactic compared to hard power. Hard power is usually a force way of getting anything accomplished.
CHAPTER 2 Power is everywhere and it may be perceived as interaction between human beings at various levels. It involves an exchange of power and they result in behavioural changes of the individual groups or society at a larger level. The greater is the level of exchange of power the higher is the possibility of environment alteration in which it had occurred. There are various relationships that illustrate power usage in all human societies. Power relationships can be understood specifically in these relations such as superior-subordinate, patron-client, master-slave and leader-follower.
Power has many various interpretations in accordance to different people. Many philosophers have varying views of power and power is part of our everyday lives. The way in which one understands how power is used in a particular way varies. Power is ‘the ability or capacity to do something or act in a particular way’ or ‘the capacity or ability to direct or influence the behaviour of others or the course of events’. (Taylor) These definitions are valid but looking at it from a philosophy and sociological view, there are many different perceptions of power.