Power, Powerlessness

Topics: Decision making, Social work, Sociology Pages: 4 (1215 words) Published: February 8, 2013
When I hear the word power many thoughts come to mind, but I feel power has many different forms. We could assume that power means more money, a bigger title, a corner office, a more generous budget, or “a seat at the table”. But that may not be true for everyone. For some, power may mean having the ability to control one’s career destiny in keeping with personal values and interests. Or power could mean having the opportunity to be creative as a project lead without too much interference from others. Or power could mean making decisions with trust and autonomy, such that no one can easily override your decisions. To me, power is control and the capacity to bring about change. For example, the United States government, they control everything and also other countries. Our government has the power to create and print money, regulate interstate and international trade, make treaties and conduct foreign policies, declare war, provide an army and navy, establish post offices, and make laws necessary to carry out these powers. In addition to their elusive powers, both the national government and state governments share the power of being able to; collect taxes, build roads, borrow money, establish court’s, make and enforce laws, charter banks and corporations, spend money for general welfare, and take private property for public purposes. Power is also acquired through possession or acquisition of the following resources: authority, money, status, knowledge, professional degrees, goods, services, votes, public support, information, ability to influence the media, and relationships with powerful people. Power can be derived from one’s authority to make decisions in organization s or by virtue of one’s gender, ethnicity, social class, or personal attributes, such as appearance and charisma. People often acquire power by establishing alliances and coalitions with others to support or oppose various policies or decision-making options. Workers in social...
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