The Importance Of Social Power In Society

1021 Words 5 Pages
Societies today are built on a form of social power. This power is typically handled in the form of government, but not all governments acquire power in legitimate ways. According to prominent sociologist Max Weber, there are only three legitimate avenues to social power: traditional, charismatic, and rational-legal. Traditional authority—or the ‘eternal yesterday’ as Weber puts it—is a dominant power which relies on tradition or custom. With this way of ruling, power is not challenged because this is how the society has always been run, and people respect the traditional values. Charismatic authority comes from society believing in a person’s personal charm, their personality, or their mission and values. Rational-legal authority, which is …show more content…
government was created under rational-legal authority. This provides routine and structure to the government and creates a stable environment. In order to keep a legitimate government, candidates are appointed or elected into certain positions that give them power. But power does not stay with the people elected; once they are removed from this position they no longer have power. Power is then given to the candidate that has been elected to take over this role. This system ensures that changes can be made to any position whenever something can be improved or changed. Any person who inhabits a role can be removed from power if they prove to be unfit for the position, and likewise, if someone seems better suited for a certain position, they can be elected into that position of power. This prevents the U.S. from having the same leadership for a long period of time and from someone coming in and trying to take control of everything. There are two noteworthy examples where the U.S government excels with rational-legal authority, the largest known being the presidential …show more content…
government becomes too powerful, and to ensure the rights of its citizens are always protected, the government adheres to a separation of powers. This creates two separate branches of government: national and state government. National government deals with national issues, foreign policy, and requires an army, and state government deals with laws regulations that are specific to each state. While the responsibilities of each side of government may differ, both are split between three branches which have separate powers. The legislative branch, which is made up of the Senate and the House of representatives, has the power to make federal laws. The executive branch has the power to enforce federal laws that were created by legislative. This branch also has the power to appoint judges and veto bills before they become laws. The third branch is the judicial branch, which is made up of federal courts. This branch has the power to interpret federal laws by hearing arguments on the meaning of laws and how they are implemented (Pinnell, Lecture, 02-03-2016). This system creates shared responsibility between all branches, which is called checks and balances. This ensures that one branch will never become too powerful since each branch has the power to affect one another equally and creates balance. This divided power also makes it so laws cannot be passed without going through all three branches, which ensures that no branch could dominate

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