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Power is a measurement of an entity's ability to control its environment, including the behavior of other entities.

The term authority is often used for power perceived as legitimate by the social structure. Power can be seen as evil or unjust, but the exercise of power is accepted as endemic to humans as social beings. In the corporate environment, power is often expressed as upward or downward. With downward power, a company's superior influences subordinates. When a company exerts upward power, it is the subordinates who influence the decisions of the leader (Greiner & Schein, 1988). Often, the study of power in a society is referred to as politics. The use of power need not involve coercion (force or the threat of force). At one extreme, it more closely resembles what everydayEnglish-speakers call "influence", although some authors make a distinction between power and influence the means by which power is used (Handy, C. 1993 Understanding Organisations). Much of the recent sociological debate on power revolves around the issue of the enabling nature of power. A comprehensive account of power can be found in Steven Lukes Power: A Radical View where he discusses the three dimensions of power. Thus, power can be seen as various forms of constraint on human action, but also as that which makes action possible, although in a limited scope. Much of this debate is related to the works of the French philosopher Michel Foucault (19261984), who, following the Italian political philosopher Niccol Machiavelli (14691527), sees power as "a complex strategic situation in a given society social setting"[1]. Being deeply structural, his concept involves both constraint and enablement. For a purely enabling (and voluntaristic) concept of power see the works of Anthony Giddens.

Balance of power
Because power operates both relationally and reciprocally, sociologists speak of the balance of power between parties to arelationship: all parties to all relationships have some power: the sociological examination of power concerns itself with discovering and describing the relative strengths: equal or unequal, stable or subject to periodic change. Sociologists usually analyse relationships in which the parties have relatively equal or nearly equal power in terms of constraint rather than of power. Thus 'power' has a connotation of unilateralism. If this were not so, then all relationships could be described in terms of 'power', and its meaning would be lost. Given that power is not innate and can be granted to others, to acquire power you must possess or control a form of power currency.[2] Even in structuralist social theory, power appears as a process, an aspect to an ongoing social structure. One can sometimes distinguish primary power: the direct and personal use of force for coercion; and secondary power, which may involve the threat of force or social constraint.

[edit]Sources

of power

Power may be held through:

Gender; masculinity Delegated authority (for example in the democratic process) Social class (material wealth can equal power) Resource currency (material items such as money, property, food) Personal or group charisma Ascribed power (acting on perceived or assumed abilities, whether these bear testing or not) Expertise (ability, skills) (the power of medicine to bring about health; another famous example would be "in the land of Persuasion (direct, indirect, or subliminal) Knowledge (granted or withheld, shared or kept secret) Celebrity Force (violence, military might, coercion). Moral persuasion (including religion) Operation of group dynamics (such as public relations) Social influence of tradition (compare ascribed power)

the blind, the one-eyed man is king" Desiderius Erasmus)

In relationships; domination/submissiveness

JK Galbraith summarises the types of power as being "Condign" (based on force), "Compensatory" (through the use of various resources) or "Conditioned" (the result of persuasion), and their sources as "Personality" (individuals), "Property" (their material resources) and "Organizational" (whoever sits at the top of an organisational power structure). (Galbraith, An Anatomy of Power) Erica Grier, a professor of Psychology at the University of Harvard, categorized power into the following possible sub-headings.

Aggressive (forceful) Manipulative (persuasion)

Six bases of power


Social psychologists John R. P. French and Bertram Raven, in a now-classic study (1959),[9] developed a schema of sources of power by which to analyse how power plays work (or fail to work) in a specific relationship. According to French and Raven, power must be distinguished from influence in the following way: power is that state of affairs which holds in a given relationship, A-B, such that a given influence attempt by A over B makes A's desired change in B more likely. Conceived this way, power is fundamentally relative it depends on the specific understandings A and B each apply to their relationship, and, interestingly, requires B's recognition of a quality in A which would motivate B to change in the way A intends. A must draw on the 'base' or combination of bases of power appropriate to the relationship, to effect the desired outcome. Drawing on the wrong power base can have unintended effects, including a reduction in A's own power. French and Raven argue that there are five significant categories of such qualities, while not excluding other minor categories. Further bases have since been adduced in particular by Morgan (1986: ch.6),[10] who identifies 14, while others have suggested a simpler model for practical purposes for example, Handy (1976),[11] who recommends three. Positional power Also called "legitimate power", it is the power of an individual because of the relative position and duties of the holder of the position within an organization. Legitimate power is formal authority delegated to the holder of the position. It is usually accompanied by various attributes of power such as uniforms, offices etc. This is the most obvious and also the most important kind of power. Referent power Referent power is the power or ability of individuals to attract others and build loyalty. It's based on the charisma and interpersonal skills of the power holder. A person may be admired because of specific personal trait, and this admiration creates the opportunity for interpersonal influence. Here the person under power desires to identify with these personal qualities, and gains satisfaction from being an accepted follower. Nationalism and patriotism count towards an intangible sort of referent power. For example, soldiers fight in wars to defend the honor of the country. This is the second least obvious power, but the most effective. Advertisers have long used the referent power of sports figures for products endorsements, for example. The charismatic appeal of the sports star supposedly leads to an acceptance of the endorsement, although the individual may have little real credibility outside the sports arena.[12] Expert power Expert power is an individual's power deriving from the skills or expertise of the person and the organization's needs for those skills and expertise. Unlike the others, this type of power is usually highly specific and limited to the particular area in which the expert is trained and qualified. Reward power

Reward power depends on the ability of the power wielder to confer valued material rewards, it refers to the degree to which the individual can give others a reward of some kind such as benefits, time off, desired gifts, promotions or increases in pay or responsibility. This power is obvious but also ineffective if abused. People who abuse reward power can become pushy or became reprimanded for being too forthcoming or 'moving things too quickly'. Coercive power Coercive power is the application of negative influences. It includes the ability to demote or to withhold other rewards. The desire for valued rewards or the fear of having them withheld that ensures the obedience of those under power. Coercive power tends to be the most obvious but least effective form of power as it builds resentment and resistance from the people who experience it. Informational power Informational power is based on the potential use of informational resources. This influence can occur through such means as rational argument, persuasion, or factual data. Members of a group can make information into power by giving it to others who need it, by keeping it to themselves, by organizing it in some way, by increasing it, or even by falsifying it.

Hegemony (UK: /hmni/; US: /hdmoni/, /hdmni/; Greek: hgemona, leadership, rule) is an indirect form ofimperial dominance in which the hegemon (leader state) rules sub-ordinate states by the implied means of power rather than direct military force.
[1]

In Ancient Greece (8th c. BC AD 6th c.), hegemony denoted the politico


[2]

military dominance of a city-state over other city-states.

In the 19th century, hegemony denoted the predominance of one


[3]

country upon others; from which deriveshegemonism, the Great Power politics meant to establish hegemony. In 20thcentury political science, the concept of hegemony is central to cultural hegemony, a philosophic and sociologic explanation of how, by the manipulation of the societal value system, onesocial class dominates the other social classes of a society, with a world view justifying the status quo of bourgeoishegemony.
[2][4][5][6]

Cultural hegemony
The initial theoretic application of cultural domination was as an economic class analysis, which Gramsci developed to comprehendsocial class. Hence, cultural hegemony proposes that the prevailing cultural norms of society, imposed by the ruling class (bourgeois hegemony), must not be perceived as natural and inevitable, but must be recognized as artificial social constructs(institutions, practices, beliefs) that must be investigated to discover their roots as social class domination; from which knowledge follows societal liberation. In a society, the praxis of cultural hegemony is neither monolithic nor a unified value system, rather it is a complex of layered social structures; each social and economic class has a societal purpose and an internal class logic allowing its members to behave in a particular way that is different from the behaviour of members of other social classes, whilst co-existing with them as constituents of the society. Because of their different social purposes, the classes will be able to coalesce into a society with a greater social mission. In a person perceiving the social structures of cultural hegemony, personal common sense has a dual structural role (personal and public). Personally, individuals apply common sense to cope with daily life, and to explain (to themselves) the small segment of thesocial order they experience as life. Publicly, the perceptual limitations of common sense emerge and inhibit

individual perception of the greater nature of the systematic socio-economic exploitation made possible by cultural hegemony. Because of the discrepancy in perceiving the status quo (bourgeois hierarchy), most people attend to their immediate (personal) concerns, rather than (publicly) think about and question the fundamental sources of their social and economic oppression.[9] At the personal level, cultural hegemony is perceptible; although each person in a society lives a meaningful life in his or her social class, to him or her, the discrete classes might appear to have little in common with individual private life. Yet, when perceived as a whole society, the life of each person does contribute to the greater societal hegemony. Although social diversity, economic variety, and political freedom appear to exist because most people see different life circumstances they are incapable of perceiving the greater hegemonic pattern created when the lives they witness coalesce as a society. The cultural hegemony is manifest in and maintained by an existence of minor, different circumstances, that are not always fully perceived by the people living it.[10]

An ideology is a set of ideas that constitute one's goals, expectations, and actions. An ideology can be thought of as a comprehensive vision, as a way of looking at things (compareworldview), as in several philosophical tendencies (see Political ideologies), or a set of ideas proposed by the dominant class of a society to all members of this society (a "received consciousness" or product of socialization). The main purpose behind an ideology is to offer either change in society, or adherence to a set of ideals where conformity already exists, through a normative thought process. Ideologies are systems of abstract thought applied to public matters and thus make this concept central to politics. Implicitly every political or economic tendency entails an ideology whether or not it is propounded as an explicit system of thought. It is how society sees things.

Analysis
Meta-ideology is the study of the structure, form, and manifestation of ideologies. Meta-ideology posits that ideology is a coherent system of ideas, relying upon a few basic assumptions about reality that may or may not have any factual basis, but are subjective choices that serve as the seed around which further thought grows. According to this perspective, ideologies are neither right nor wrong, but only a relativistic intellectual strategy for categorizing the world. The pluses and minuses of ideology range from the vigor and fervor of true believers to ideological infallibility. Excessive need for certitude lurks at fundamentalist levels in politics and religions. The works of George Walford and Harold Walsby, done under the heading of systematic ideology, are attempts to explore the relationships between ideology and social systems. Charles Blattberg has offered an account which distinguishes political ideologies from political philosophies.[8] David W. Minar describes six different ways in which the word "ideology" has been used:

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

As a collection of certain ideas with certain kinds of content, usually normative; As the form or internal logical structure that ideas have within a set; By the role in which ideas play in human-social interaction; By the role that ideas play in the structure of an organization; As meaning, whose purpose is persuasion; and As the locus of social interaction, possibly.

For Willard A. Mullins, an ideology is composed of four basic characteristics: 1. 2. 3. 4. it must have power over cognition it must be capable of guiding one's evaluations; it must provide guidance towards action; and, as stated above, it must be logically coherent.

Mullins emphasizes that an ideology should be contrasted with the related (but different) issues of utopia and historical myth.

The German philosopher Christian Duncker called for a "critical reflection of the ideology concept" (2006). In his work, he strove to bring the concept of ideology into the foreground, as well as the closely connected concerns of epistemology and history. In this work, the term ideology is defined in terms of a system of presentations that explicitly or implicitly claim to absolute truth. Though the word "ideology" is most often found in political discourse, there are many different kinds of ideology: political, social,epistemological, ethical, etc.