Sociology-Daily Practice Problems(DPP)-03-Aug-2018

Q  “Power is not a zerosum game”. Critically discuss with reference to Weber’s and Parsons’s views.(20Marks)(150words)

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  1. Weber has been credited with giving and attempting to give a first systematic definition of power. According to him, power is essentially the ability of an individual or group to exert influence on others against their wishes. Use of force and subsequent retaliation is natural according to the Weberian concept of power. One exercises or controls power at the expense of others. Hence according to him, power is necessarily a zero-sum game.
    Parsons, on the other hand, being a structural functionalist, holds a contrary view and considers power to be an instrument of achieving desired, accepted goals of a society. In modern society, due to structural differentiation, the society moves towards achieving value consensus. This value consensus leads people in a society to agree upon necessary goals to be achieved and hence power is utilised and distributed accordingly. This holds very true in a modern democratic state where power is shared among several stakeholders to achieve the necessary goals.

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