Steven Lukes: The Hidden Face Of Power

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understand the 'hidden face' of power as in Steven Lukes' (1974) “three faces of power” it is necessary to explore beyond what initially appears from a policy decision or political standpoint. The realms in which the media operate can be quite complex, gauging an understanding to these is essential when trying to understand the various sources of power that the media controls and hence can manipulate. There have been numerous theories and theorists which have been introduced throughout this course regarding various conceptions of power, the 'two faces' view of Bachrach and Baratz (1970) provided the framework for the view on power. However, it was not until Lukes (1974) “three faces of power” theory which expanded on the work of Bachrach and…show more content…
The power which comes with being able to set agendas is one of the greatest assets in being able to dictate a given political situation by way that the base of power lies with those who have the ability of "non-decision making" (Lukes 1974). Stated by Bachrach and Baratz (1963) opposing the pluralist view, it is the behaviourist view, that "power can take certain issues out of the process of decision-making, making it forever inaccessible to the public agenda" (Lukes 2005). This is a key element of the ‘hidden face’, which is the other side of a two-dimensional viewpoint on power. The additional dimension is added to that of the aforementioned one-dimensional classical pluralist theorem. The most successful way to exercise the power by its 'hidden face' is by making sure that something does not appear on the agenda in the political arena. It is the power to get all parties involved to "accept their role in the existing order" and it is the news media that hold the key to this as they can aid in the "shaping of their perceptions, cognitions and preferences". It is the 'hidden face' that possesses the greatest of control and with control comes…show more content…
It is how the powerful manipulate the powerless in order to fulfil the needs of those with power. What one may have here is a latent conflict, which consists in a contradiction between the interests of those exercising power and the real interests of those they exclude. These latter may not express or even be conscious of their interests, but ... the identification of those interests ultimately always rests on empirically supportable and refutable hypotheses (Lukes 2005). This is a vitally important power source used in politics and is fundamental in order to succeed. This power was even referred to by Lukes (1974) as “insidious” in nature, as it is seen as almost an abuse of power from those in higher positions especially the political elite on those more vulnerable or open to manipulation of working class background in

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