ANTH1001 Topic 4: Politics and Power
1. What are the four different ‘modes of power’ that Eric Wolf identifies? (list and briefly define these)
a) Power inherent in an individual. The concept of this power is may have believed to be the main driving force of humans – achievements, ambition, and the striving to reach the highest possible position in life. Embodied Power- power as an individual attribute, capability, e.g., strength, knowledge, energy, the sorts of things that enable us to do things in the world.
b) Power as capacity of ego to impose one’s will on alter. Relational power - the ability of one individual to impose their will on another. In Weber's terms, it's the ability to carry out one's will despite resistance. Relational because involves at least two individuals. Examples: physically dominating another person; parent-child relationship where parent directs child to behave in certain ways.
c) Power to control over the contexts in which people interact. Organizational power - the power an individual or unit has over another individual or group of individuals in relation to their control over a social setting. Not just two individuals, but a social space with multiple individuals. Examples: teachers over students (teachers control content and grades); boss over workers (control wages and access to employment). So here the power is in the social organization, it is enacted through a hierarchical social arrangement where a person or group of people are perceived to have power over others and so people in the organization act accordingly to this social arrangement.
d) Structural power. Structural power - the power to organize (i.e., structure) social settings in which actions take place. Not necessarily directed by an individual person or group of people, but a more pervasive system wit...