James Arvanitakis's View Of Power In Contemporary Society
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Power is a compound social characteristic in worth of an individual or group is able to impel the actions or inactions of individuals or groups against their interests, needs or desire. Power can be seen in two different ways. Power can be viewed as “stuff” by measuring power with wealth or ownership. The other way power can be viewed is “relational” as its part of our daily lives and that we can’t escape power. Power is entered into our bodies, relationships and minds. In Contemporary Society, James Arvanitakis explains the differences of power and their outcomes. In this response it will consider further in-depth on how power can be viewed.
Humans are driven by forces in society that we neither understand nor control by the nature of…show more content… “If you are rich, you get a lot of power: if you got a lot of power. It’s much easier to get a lot of money. The other thing about money by ownership is needed to buy political power”(Blackwell, A, 2008). In Cotemporary Society, Arvanitakis explains power as “stuff” “can be seen as we automatically know the outcome of any conflict simply by who has more power than the person”(Arvanitakis, J, 2009). The famous thinker, Karl Marx though a class is defined according to the ownership and control on the means of production. Power can be viewed as “stuff” as an economic state; USA is the most powerful nation ranking in $17.7 trillion and having the biggest arms arsenal. “Power can also be conceived of in terms of positions of authority”(Arvanitakis, J, 2009. An example would be a position of a boss: The boss has the authority to command another’s role, has the right to request and the right to fire or promote a person. Psychologically, authority works through the superior positions, by the virtue of person’s field of expression, his clothing such as a uniform or the station behind a desk; we endow the requests or commands with legitimacy. Power can be control through coercion, attempting to control individuals against their will. Power through coercion can also direct target an individual by forcing them to restrict or oppose the freedom to pursue their goals. Coercion “tends to be confused…show more content… Power differs from force or violence, which affect the body physically. It involves making a person do something that he/she would not have done otherwise; power therefore involves restricting or altering someone’s will. Power is present in all human relationships, and penetrates throughout society. The state does not have ownership over power, because power relations are deeply unstable and changeable. Power and control occurs away from the authorities in two ways: Through a process of socialisation, as a result Michel Foucault argued that power is not contained by a handful of individuals; but comes to organise and represent the social body. Foucault (1977) sees disciplinary power that is a key to the development of modern thought. Foucault (1977) notes that we behave in accepted ways even when not being watched by authorities. Lazaretto argues, “In the institutions of disciplinary society, the injunction to remain ‘active’ mobilizes subjectivities. But the activity is empty because it offers no possibility to evaluate, choose or decide”(Lazzaratio, M). We, as humans, organise ourselves into groups, institutions and societies. Human act upon cooperating and unifying their actions, developing appear capacities as members of social systems, by having an impact on both the physical and social worlds through their independence which be impossible if they were purely individual humans. Power derives