• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Outline and assess the view that the exercise of power inevitably involves negative consequences for some individuals.

Extracts from this document...


Outline and assess the view that the exercise of power inevitably involves negative consequences for some individuals. Many sociologists have different views of power and Marxists have a negative view of power and believe that power has consequences for some individuals. However, functionalists believe that power has positive consequences for some individuals. Also other sociologists see it both ways and believe that power has positive and negative consequences for individuals. Weber is a sociologist who sees it both ways. Weber believes in the Zero-sum view of power which implies that the exercise of power has negative consequences for some individuals and groups as it involves repression, coercion and constraint. An example of this would be when a police officer arrests a criminal. He also believed that power can be split into three type of authority which are: Charisma, Tradition and Rational-legal. Weber's types of authority are 'ideal types.' it means that they are pure but not the best. So the purest type is the ideal type. An example of this is that charismatic authority may contain aspects of traditional and rational-legal authority. ...read more.


Their conception of power sees it as a positive resource and, as such, is characterised by legitimacy and consensus. Talcott Parsons argues that power results from the sharing of collective resources. This is in order to achieve social and cultural goals. Functionalists also believe that power is a functional resource. Parsons' ideas about power focus on the traditional functionalist ideas of value consensus and normative harmony and stability. This Parsonian functionalist image of power can be compared to modern banking. Therefore politicians are like brokers or bankers, which means that they are allowed to borrow or invest the power that has been given to them by their subjects or citizens. Sociologist Anthony Giddens criticises the functionalist analyses of power. He suggests that power is a part of all social relations and interactions. However, for many feminists the study of politics starts not with institutions of parliament, parties and pressure groups, or even with society of elites and the ownership of wealth, but with differences of power at the personal level. This is summed up in their slogan 'the personal is political'. ...read more.


He believes that this power will impose definitions of 'normality' has become part of institutionalised life and may result in individuals being criticised, treated prejudicially and punished for being different, i.e. for indulging in behaviour or for holding attitudes that challenge the discourse. We avoid behaviour and attitudes that are likely to provoke even more surveillance and discipline from official agencies such as the police. His work has been criticised for not empirical in the conventional research sense. He tended to support his arguments with selective historical examples rather than updated examples and systematically gathering contemporary data. It is not entirely clear why disciplinary power and bio-power evolved or who exercises these types of power. It may be unrealistic to suggest that no group benefits more than others from exercising this type of power. Overall it can be said that there are many different views of power and Marxists believe that power can have negative consequences for some individuals and an example of this is when a police officer arresting a criminal. In my opinion I think that the statement is true because someone could take the power they have been given too seriously and that could have negative consequences. Laura Rogers 13.5 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Sociology section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Sociology essays

  1. Outline and assess the view that

    Integral to this study was the study of deviant groups, with Frederic Thrasher's "The Gang" (1927) and Whyte's "Street Corner Society" (1943) demonstrated that deviant groups in society had clear norms and values of their own that justified their different behaviour. The seconded of these schools was the "Strain Theory".

  2. Explain Foucault’s conception of power, with reference to one or more of his historical ...

    By discussing techniques of power the essay will draw on Foucault's theories regarding confession and the unearthing of ones true sexual identity. By looking at the role of knowledge within power and discourse, a cycle of regulation will be discussed.

  1. The poet William Blake refers to ‘the mind-forg’d manacles of man’. To what extent ...

    You are my king, my idol!" (Flaubert, 1995, p147) "How could it occur to her to examine the [love] letter, to look at it critically...her whole soul was possessed" (Eliot, 1985, p67) Love is seen as a psychological restriction in that it restricts our ability to think rationally and forces us to act without considering consequences.

  2. Money and Power still remains with Caucasians

    Half of the total minority ethnic population were Asians of Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, or other Asian origin. A quarter of minority ethnic people described themselves as Black that is Black Caribbean, Black African or Other Black. Fifteen per cent of the minority ethnic population described their ethnic group as Mixed.

  1. Pitted against Patriarchy

    It was, she often felt, a gift which was one of the great rewards of a solitary life. And a necessary gift. Because, when you were a single girl, you had to find interesting things to talk about. Other women always had their children and running a house to chat about.

  2. Max Weber: Basic Terms (The Fundamental Concepts of Sociology)

    Desired: other-worldly religious state; contemplative flight from the world. Active asceticism may confine itself to controlling wickedness in the actor's own nature; in this case, it avoids any action in the orders of the world (asceticist flight from the world). In external bearing, it thereby comes close to contemplative flight.

  1. Crime - 'The media portrays ethnic minorities in negative ways', Discuss.

    (Please specify why you think this?) Whilst watching TV; what ethnicity is more likely to be presenting any type of programme? Asian Black Chinese Mixed White Other: If you are an Ethnic Minority have you faced any type of negative behaviour towards you by someone of a different ethnicity?

  2. Unit 4 Assessment: Power & Politics

    They think that a democracy is only possible in a multi-party system with an opposition to represent those who disagree with the governing party. This approach has been criticised for ignoring the Lukes' second and third dimensions of power and concentrating on the first dimension of power.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work