How is power wielded in the social world? Do agree more with functionalist or conflict theorists regarding the concept of power in a democracy? Be sure to describe both the functionalist and...

How is power wielded in the social world?

Do agree more with functionalist or conflict theorists regarding the concept of power in a democracy? Be sure to describe both the functionalist and conflict perspectives on power in society and provide evidence or examples to support your position.

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readerofbooks eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This a good question, but not something that can be answered in a enotes post. So, here is an abbreviated version of a functionalist position. A good sociologist with whom to start is Peter Berger. In short, one way in which he would describe the use of power is through the creation of institutions, roles and ideology. According to the social theory of Peter Berger, institutions are those things in society that have the appearance of objectivity and self-evidence. For this reason, they also exert great amount of power; they seek social control through the creation of roles; in other words, "good" citizen will play their assigned roles. They also seek to gain further power by creating ideology or reasons why their power is legitimate.