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Having defined power, as in physics, as having both potential and kinetic forms, he opts for the latter usage alone in his text. That is, he acknowledges power as both the capacity of an individual or group to accomplish something, and the actual doing of something, but he limits his discussion to "actions actually accomplished.
First, it dovetails with how most of us think about power most of the time. Second, it is easier to quantify. It is much easier to measure something that has occurred than something that is a possibility.
An actual occurrence is a fact that can be checked. There may be disagreement on the sources of its occurrence, but the argument about its occurrence is likely to be short-lived if adequate facts can be brought to bear.
If one side has won in a disagreement in that it has gotten the other to do something it wantedwe have prima facie evidence that the first is more powerful -- or at least has exerted more power -- than the second.
Since concerns of relative power are important in conflicts, it is helpful to have a clear picture of who has more. We can then more easily say that one is more or less powerful than another. Theoretically, at least, we can predict who will win and who will lose the confrontation.
Hopefully, we could then dissuade a party from pursuing a destructive battle that it is bound to lose. Defining Power Before defining power in a sociological sense, let's look at a type of power with which we are familiar on a daily basis -- electrical power.
We know that electricity is available to us when we plug an appliance into an outlet and turn it on. Except in the case of an outage or a malfunction, we expect electricity to be available to us to make electrical appliances function.
Further, when the appliance is functioning, we can see and benefit from the power we have at our disposal.
In other words, we can detect both potential and actual power.
So, too, with social and political power. There's nothing quite as visible and uniform as an outlet to identify its source, but it functions in both the potential and actual. As with electricity, for all its complexity in operation, social and political power has a simple definition.
Power is the Capacity to Bring about Change Oftentimes, power is more narrowly defined, even when both its actual and potential forms are considered. While change is central in these definitions, the authors tend to focus only on changing the other.
Thus, power is often defined as the capacity to influence others' behavior, to get others to do what challengers want, rather than what the initial parties themselves want. It is, however, important to recognize that change can be within rather than without, or that it may be a combination of the two.
This recognition is important in concerns about empowerment ; beyond this, it opens up additional strategies to consider in combating injustice and seeking social change.
Sources of Power If power were one-dimensional, we could agree with some degree of certitude who has more and who has less and thus, who will be the victor in a contest of wills. However, we are often confronted with surprises in this regard when a seemingly less powerful party holds a more powerful party at bay.
As an example, Iraq lost the first Gulf War. This can be documented. A major source of its defeat was that the massive alliance arrayed against it had vastly superior firepower.
That situation remained after the war was over. Nonetheless, Iraq successfully evaded U.New research digs deeper into the social science behind why power brings out the best in some people and the worst in others.
Why Power Corrupts write an essay recalling an incident in. Feminist scholars provide a different lens through which to look at the three forms of power, which are referred to, respectively, as "power over," "power to," and "power with." "Power over" refers to power through domination; it is coercive and operates largely through threat and fear.
Essay on Power and Influence. Print Reference this. Disclaimer: Personalized power is based on the traditional of power as domination over others. Individuals with a high need for personalized power are mostly lacking in self-control, impulsive, selfish and uninhibited.
These individuals exercise power for its own interest, self-centered.
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Our society often confuses personal power -- "power within" -- with "power over," which is about controlling others. There is a vast difference between personal power and control.