Authority and Power

Topics: Authority, Max Weber, Political philosophy Pages: 3 (1008 words) Published: April 14, 2013
Power /Authority

Power has many definitions, but commonly known as the ability to influence the behavior of people. Many people think of things such as: control over resources, strength, political control, and other things when they think of the word power. Power does not always require the act of force or even the threat of force. Everyday we use power tactics to push or persuade people into particular action. Niccolo Machiavelli an Italian historian, politician, diplomat, philosopher, and a humanist viewed the term power in a whole different prospective. Max Weber was also another individual that was partly a influence on what we consider to be power. Both Niccolo and Max both had their opinionated views on what they considered to be power, how to obtain power, and how to retain power.

Authority may have a different definition based on the person explaining it but, one of the prominent definitions for authority is the right to control, command, and to determine. Authority is a word we often use as a substitute or interchangeably with power. Authority is essentially the justification or right to exercise what ever power that is obtained. Authority is the capacity for exercising control or domination over a group. We all as people have power to do as we please yet we don’t have authority to do so. There are forms of authority that we refuse to question cause it has always been the norm, such as governmental authority or parental authority. Power may seem to some to be unjust but the authority used to enforce that power is considered natural to society.

Max Weber was a German sociologist, philosopher, and political economist who greatly influenced social theory, social research, and the basis of sociology itself. Weber defined authority as the chance of commands being followed through by a specific group of people. Through his work Weber identified and distinguished three types of authority. The three different types of authorities that were identified...
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