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ABSTRACT ON POWER AND SOCIETY Here we will look at power and its impact on society.

Power is defined as one’s ability to have others do what you want them to do, even if they do not want to do it. The success one has when using power is based on authority. Authority is defined as legitimacy, which produces acceptance or acquiescence by others of your use of power. This authority is based on, among other things, charisma, defined as, the ability of one to turn an audience into followers. At other times authority is based on traditionalism, which is on a generation of rulers, often bonded by blood. This is illustrated by what we call rule of men. Other authority is based on the rule of law. This includes written laws and formal authority. An example of the above is a constitution, otherwise known as a framework for government. We can see how authority is used by examining our principle social institutions. The six basic social institutions are: family, religion, education, business, media and government. Obviously with a course like this our primary emphasis is on government. (However, we will integrate the role of all institutions in fulfilling their governmental functions.) Our initial examination of the institution of government focuses on the use of power within government. We will entertain the meaning behind one of the most meaningful statements concerning this linkage. As 19th Century British historian Lord Acton stated, “Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” To illustrate this we will view a visual adaptation of George Orwell’s classic Animal Farm. 1. How does one hold power by use of authority? 2. What types of authority are there? What is the difference? 3. What role does the US Constitution play as a regulator of power? 4. How does power impact among the social relationships found in the basic social institutions?