Max Weber Theory Of Empowerment

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What is empowerment?

Empowerment can be defined as an attitudinal, structural, and cultural process whereby young people gain the ability, authority, and agency to make decisions and implement change in their own lives and the lives of other people, including youth and adults. It is a multi-level construct consisting of practical approaches and applications, social action processes, and individual and collective outcomes. Empowerment is used in distinctive ways and is shaped by the ideological and theoretical disputes. Moreover one can say that Empowerment is one of the critical components of Youth Work.

“It might sound paradoxical, but when a young person does walk away the street worker is appreciative of this, as it is an expression
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This differences is used by Weber to refer to authority as legitimised power where the idea of power without authority is: “ The probability that one actor within a social relationship will be in a position to carry out his (sic) own will despite resistance, regardless of the basis on which this probability rests” Weber, (1947)(as cited in Fitzsimons, A., Hope, M., Russell, K., & Cooper, C. (2011), p. 5)

Authority mainly exists when people give their consent and accept the authority of others as legitimate, as power is based on legitimate authority and not on coercion. Weber (1947) investigates three bases of legitimacy for authority and power.

1. Traditional authority, an established belief in authority, e.g. the divine right of kings.

2. Charismatic authority, Obedience to an exceptional individual as they are deemed to possess inspirational characteristics. Such people possess the authority over others on the basis of their personal qualities or charisma, such as religious figures e.g. Christ, Jesus etc.

3. Rational legal authority, where power is given to those who hold a position in society, such as government, police officers or a judge.

According to Weber, the rational exercise of power is based on legitimate authority. Posing this question, is there any other way power operates in
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(as cited in Fitzsimons, A. (2011): 7)

Foucault recognises the fact that when two or more people are engaged in some kind of activity power conflicts and struggles are unavoidable.
However this means that socially excludes groups or marginalised individuals are also involved in the exercise of power. Rather than viewing power with discomfort, or as a negative concept terms of control, he sees the fact that everyone has a certain amount of power, meaning that power cannot simply be located with particular groups in society. His concept of power gives new air to the possibility of enabling in a productive dialogue on power that could be used to explore empowerment in customs that can be progressive and liberating.

Towards a
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