Power In Sociology Essays

The Definition of Power

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The Definition of Power

     Power is many things. It is the ability to control people in their
sayings and/or actions. It is the ability to get whatever you want. Power is a
necessary component in any society, otherwise all pandemonium would break loose;
leaders must be established. But, when taken to an extreme, power is not good,
and pandemonium will break loose.

     As Lord Acton said, "Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts
absolutely." A good example of this is Adolph Hitler in Nazi Germany. He
believed he could not be stopped and that rules did not apply to him. By being
given absolute power, he corrupted the government. No attempt was made to stop
this by the Germans, because of the control he had. People were either scared
to stop this, or were brainwashed into believing it. Finally the U.S. had to
step in and try to stop Hitler, and World War II broke out.

     But power is not all bad though. As was stated earlier, it is necessary
in any group of people, and there will be struggle to achieve it--be it a
country, a business, or a sports team. Athletics is a good example of where
there is a constant power struggle. In every league, every player wants control.
They want what they think should happen (during games), to happen. Recently,
in the NBA, Dennis Rodman took this struggle to an extreme. In disagreement with
an official's call, Rodman head-butted the official, and through a temper-
tantrum on his way off the court. Quite obviously, this is bad. Every player
in the league agrees to the rules set by the NBA from the beginning. The rules
are made to keep control, and the officials have power to enforce these rules.
If there were no regulations, players would be doing whatever they wanted
whenever they wanted. If Rodman's antics would have taken place somewhere other
than a basketball court he probably would be in trouble with the law. If he
were to argue with a police officer, for example, the same way he did with the
referee, he probably would be put in jail or at very least heavily fined. Well,
the NBA is not going to put anyone in jail for this, but they did fine him and
suspend him for a couple of games. Basically Rodman is as bad as any street
bully who picks on or beats up little kids. Only he does it on a basketball
court, so generally it is considered "part of the game." In nine out of ten
cases, a fine is levied, and all is forgotten.

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Related Searches

Definition         Absolute Power Corrupts         Sports Team         Adolph Hitler         Police Officer         Extreme         Power Struggle         Officials        

     There will always be people, like Rodman, trying to have power over a
situation when they can't. Any criminal is trying to do exactly that. They are
trying to make their own rules. When caught for this, they're punished; they
are punished by people who have power.

     Power is obtained in a couple ways. You can earn it and it can be given
to you. But power isn't necessarily a trait a person has until they know
somebody who does. For example, if a person was good friends with someone who
is in a position of power, say their boss, and disliked a co-worker of theirs,
they possibly could get something bad to happen to the co-worker, like more work
or longer hours. Power wasn't had in a situation like this until someone known
had it.

     While power is something that can be good or bad, liked or disliked, one
thing is for sure: it is constantly being put to use to control people. And
when there is no power, there is no organization and everything is bedlam. So
every person is in one way or another involved with power. Some have it, but
all must abide by it or reap the repercussions.

Essay on Sociology and Social Power

827 WordsNov 3rd, 20054 Pages

Part 2: Introducing Sociology

People today blame themselves more and more for every bad thing or "troubles" they have on personal fault rather then looking towards the social issue (Mills 1959, pg.1). In the article The Promise C. Wright Mills' say that "the individual can understand his own experience and gauge his own fate only by locating himself within his period, that he can know his own chances in life only by becoming aware of those of all individuals in his circumstances" (Mills 1959, pg.2). This means that people can understand themselves better if they look past themselves and start looking at in conditions as a whole, not just blaming yourself but seeing that there is a problem in the society and you cannot necessarily…show more content…

I have had the experience of rolelessness when I was about 15 and working for my father. He would always be telling me what to do and how to do it and always having someone older help me, even though it wasn't a challenging task for me and would only assign independent tasks if I was as complex as picking up trash. This underestimation of me made me feel as if I was useless and just a burden on him. Coontz then looks past the troubles of one couples marriage fights and into the social relationships that have been created in our society (Coontz 1997, pg.13). Social relationships have to do with situated social power. Situated social power by Coontz definition is, "various groups in society have unequal access to economic resources, political power, and social status, and these social differences limit how fair or equal a personal relationship between two individuals from different groups can really be" (Coontz 1997 pg13). I have personally experienced situated social power with my dad. He has said to me that I can do whatever I want to do, but that really isn't the case, there is actually only one correct decision and he is feeling like he has put the decision into my hands but I know if I do the decision that he doesn't want me to do there will be consequences. Then in the end, he just being my dad had made me make my decision with only one real choice. This also shows that

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