220 Outcome: Power and Authority

Define and differentiate between power and authority

Sociologists examine government and politics in terms of their impact on individuals and larger social systems. Power is an entity or individual’s ability to control or direct others, while authority is influence that is predicated on perceived legitimacy. As you’ll learn in this section, Max Weber studied power and authority, differentiating between the two concepts and formulating a system for classifying types of authority.

What You’ll Learn To Do:

  • Define political power
  • Identify and describe the three types of authority

Learning Activities

The learning activities for this section include:

  • Reading: Defining Power
  • Reading: Types of Authority
  • Self-Check: Power and Authority

License

Icon for the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Introduction to Sociology by Lumen Learning is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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