The Theory Of Power Within Society Essay

The Theory Of Power Within Society Essay

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There are said to be many concepts within politics that are widely discussed and important within society, one such concept is power. Power is often said to be held by individuals who hold authority over others such as the Government. However, it is difficult to say who has the most power within a country. It has been suggested that there are many levels of power within a given state making it a concept of interest within society. It also makes power difficult to define as the meaning of power is dependent on how the perspective views power. Max Weber defines power as “The possibility of imposing ones will upon the behaviour of other persons” (Vahabi 2004: 1). This highlights power as a means to control or influence a group of people to behave in a certain way according to their own views and thoughts. The concept of power differs depending on the individual, this can further be shown as different perspectives have different takes on the concept of power. This essay will look into two of the main perspectives Marxism and Feminism to see the difference of their opinions when it comes to examining the concept of power and who within a state holds this power. The feminist perspective believes that power lies with the males within society “women’s freedom of action and expression is limited by the relative power of men- because men, in the main, tend to possess more economic, cultural and social resources than women.” (Abbott, Wallace and Tyler 2005: 16) However, the Marxist perspective differs from the feminist perspective in that it believes that power is mainly based on an individual’s social class and the position that they hold within society. The upper class and middle classes of society tend to run businesses and employ the low...


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...d the owners of the means of production they oppress the working proletariat who sell their labour to the factory owners in return for income. The bourgeoisie work to maintain the capitalist society and control the proletariat hiding the subordination so that they would not cause a revolution which could lose the bourgeoisie their power. The Marxist perspective focuses on money and who within society is rich thus would have power especially if they own companies as they would hold power over the workers and earn a profit for the work they do for the company. Therefore, it can be said that both the Marxist and feminist perspective have different views on what power is through analysing both perspectives it can be found that power can be identified through a variety of means such as, class and gender thus it seems the meaning of power is dependent on the perspective.

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