Power in Society

1769 Words8 Pages
A world of system designed to keep people in unjust and unequal positions is held in place by several interrelated expression of "power over": political power, economic power, physical force, and ideological power (Bishop, 1994: 36). So, we can say power is defined as a possession of control, authority or influence over others. In terms of power of dominant groups over subordinate groups, we define power as domination of one group of people over another in major important spheres of life. Power inequities have been in existence throughout the history of humanity and the ways of manifestation evolved from extreme overt oppression to subtle, covert oppression. Three major forms of power inequalities discussed in this paper are based on property (class), domination whites over others (race) and men over women (gender). Property owners as a dominant group have power over a subordinate group who do not own property. Karl Marx, one of the greatest economists of the XIX century, defines domination from the purely economic point of view. To Marx, a class is defined according to the ownership and control of the means of production; and therefore two major classes present in capitalism are bourgeoisie and proletariat. Bourgeoisie owns and controls the means of production. Proletariat, on the other hand, owns nothing and it sells its labour as a commodity in return for money. The power presented here is this constant antagonism between those who own and control and those who do not possess the means of production. By possessing control over these means of production, they ultimately control labour force itself. Bourgeoisie makes proletariat to work long hours with less pay, makes workers comparative with jobs, and ali... ... middle of paper ... ... access to the positions of power. However, the power struggle between genders will always exist, for once females become equal, the male populations will start feeling endangered and oppressed, and will start providing resistance to female domination. Inequalities on the basis of class, race and gender still exist today as they existed long time ago but they are not so ready visible as before. One has to get inside the society and get more involved in it to truly experience the nature of this relationship. Nevertheless, we learn everyday about many successes in fighting racism, fighting job related inequality between a male and a female, and in my opinion this society is on the right track. By openly discussing many issues that until recently were not allowed to be discussed, we are in better position to understand each other and our society as a whole.
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