Power as Individual and Systemic Essay

Power as Individual and Systemic Essay

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Power is many things. We may all know what it is yet, the definition is unique. We all have our own definition of power however, we come across immeasurable difficulties when trying to define it. The dictionary defines power in many ways but in reality there is no set definition of what power is or what it is supposed to be. Power is not something you can
touch rather it is something we see and observe as it grows in human relationships and social arrangements. Some may refer to it as influence, control, or even dominance but in Parenti’s reading What We Mean by “Power” he pinpoints power and categorizes it under individual actors and systemic force. Television and magazines also reinforce these definitions of power and their relations through crime and deviant individuals as expressed in another reading titled Television News Magazines and Functionalism by Marie Elizabeth Grabe.
Parenti’s definitions of power begin by referring to individual actors. He explains it to be a relationship between a person and their environment, specifically saying that power is the ability for an individual to get what they want and obtain some apparent good to the individual. Often, the ability to get what one wants implies the ability to surpass those whose interest might conflict with their own. Power comes into play when some degree of competition is expected as there are many demands for the things that are needed or wanted and this may exceed the available supply. So, when competition is implicated one persons gain involves another persons loss. This is the measure of an individuals self-serving power, which also entails the ability to deal helpful or hurtful effects on others whether intentionally or unintentionally.
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...er to victimize people whether with weapons, or the force and power of their body itself. The news show information but dramatizes it. It does not describe the world so much as it portrays an arena of dramatic force and action of power. These mediums are a powerful means to publicly draw the line between good and evil primarily assigning police officers and criminals to these roles, reinforcing power relations.
What has been established about power between the two articles by Parenti and Marie Elizabeth Grabe is that power is not a substance originating from a person, rather it is a kind of imagery we, ourselves evoke. For all the problems, evasiveness and ambiguity the idea power may bring, it remains enticing and always present as it shows that power is a powerful participant in any situation.


Works Cited

Parenti. “What We Mean by “Power”.” Pages 3-7, 12-15

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