What defines the line between them? –
Power is earned on a daily basis. Control is taken. Power is freely given by those who believe in you. Control is needed only when they do not. (Nationmultimedia.com, 2007). This implies that people who exercise control are exercising their power as the other involved party do not believe it them. As the other party does not believe in them enough to give them power they must use their own power in the form of control.
When does one become the other? –
Power is the capacity or ability to direct or influence the behaviour of others or the course of events. Whereas, control is the power to influence or direct people’s behaviour or the course of events or to determine the behaviour or supervise the running of. These two things can become each other when they are not being exercised. Zimmerling speaks of Kristjansson and his views on having power and exercising that power as control. He says that “‘having power over’ cannot be the ability on which ‘exercising power over’ is based, for having power over is ‘here’ not a capacity at all” (Zimmerling, 2005). This in turn means that power turns into control when it is exercised over somebody.
Who decides? –
“It is commonly observed that person X dominates Y, while being subservient in relations with Z. Furthermore, these power relations are frequently intransitive!” (Emerson, 1962) So, as we can see, the power relations are decided by the people within them and who wants to be in control/have power over or be subservient to the other. With people and their power relations being intransitive it means it really depends on the individuals and who/what they wish to give power to and who/what they want to take control over.
How are our lives affected by these concepts/how does your cultural, religious, political background influence you and others around you? –
“Generally, it can be said that there are three types of struggles: either against forms of domination (ethnic, social, and religious); against forms of exploitation which separate individuals from what they produce; or against that which ties the individual to himself and submits him to others in this way (struggles against subjection, against forms of subjectivity and submission).” (The Subject and Power, 1982) These are all the forms of power struggles. These are the ways in which power relations can be formed. Depending on your placing in these specific fields, you can have a different standing in your power relations with others. Purnell has said “It has become very much a closed shop… this middle class power grab was the result of a political system that has become closed to the ordinary people” (Jones, 2011) So, this leads us to believe that power, at least politically and religiously, is closed off for the ordinary people and the control is had over them.
Emerson, R. (1962). Power-Dependence Relations. American Sociological Review, 27(1), p.31.
Jones, O. (2011). Chavs. London: Verso. p.105.
Nationmultimedia.com, (2007). Bangkok’s Independent Newspaper. [online] Available at: http://www.nationmultimedia.com/2007/11/26/rookie/rookie_30057429.php [Accessed 2 Nov. 2015].
The Subject and Power. (1982). Critical Enquiry, 8(4), p.781.
Zimmerling, R. (2005). Influence and power. Dordrecht, the Netherlands: Springer. p225