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"Power is the production, in and through social relations, of effects that shape the capacities of actors to determine their circumstances and fate." Barnett & Duvall (2005)
Power enables us to make a difference, to shape the world, all the while it is shaping us.
It is present in interactions with others, e.g. "they have power over me". It also constitutes us as who we are, e.g. being the student of a teacher.
It can work in direct/visible or indirect/diffuse ways.
Power is different from control. Control is about shaping our lives, power is about shaping the world around us. But they are linked: how sustainable is control with no power? How long until the world around us impacts our lives?
Without power we are helpless, it's stressful and even bad for our health. To know that we exist depends also on being able to shape the world around us (as we learn to do to varying degrees as children). To what extent do we exist without power?
But too much power corrupts. It shapes us neurologically in a way that can be detrimental to us and those around us.
Key questions I am thinking & writing about:
The inner game of power:
- How does power on the outside affect us on the inside?
- What on the inside creates power on the outside?
The outer game of power:
- How do we gain power?
- How do we empower others?