In Phenomena of Power, one of the leading figures of postwar German sociology reflects on the nature, and many forms of, power. For Heinrich Popitz, power is rooted in the human condition and is therefore part of all social relations. Drawing on philosophical anthropology, he identifies the elementary forms of power to provide detailed insight into how individuals gain and perpetuate control over others. Instead of striving for a power-free society, Popitz argues, humanity should try to impose limits on power where possible and establish counterpower where necessary.
Phenomena of Power delves into the sociohistorical manifestations of power and breaks through to its general structures. Popitz distinguishes the forms of the enforcement of power as well as of its stabilization and institutionalization, clearly articulating how the mechanisms of power work and how to track them in the social world. Philosophically trained, historically informed, and endowed with keen observation, Popitz uses examples ranging from the way passengers on a ship organize deck chairs to how prisoners of war share property to illustrate his theory. Long influential in German sociology, Phenomena of Power offers a challenging reworking of one of the essential concepts of the social sciences.
|Publisher:||Columbia University Press|
|Series:||European Perspectives: A Series in Social Thought and Cultural Criticism|
|Sold by:||Barnes & Noble|
|File size:||363 KB|
About the Author
Heinrich Popitz (1925–2002) was professor of sociology and founding director of the Institute for Sociology at the University of Freiburg. In 1971-72, he was Theodor Heuss Professor at the New School for Social Research.
Gianfranco Poggi is professor of sociology at the University of Trento and emeritus professor of sociology at the University of Virginia and the European University Institute.
Table of Contents
1. The Concept of Power
Part I: Forms of Enforcement
3. Threatening and Being Threatened
4. The Authority Bond
5. Needs for Authority: The Change in Social Subjectivity
6. Technical Action
Part II: Forms of Stabilization
7. Processes of Power Formation
8. Power and Domination: Stages of the Institutionalization of Power
What People are Saying About This
Finally, the phenomenology of power, developed by one of the most creative German social theorists of the postwar era, reaches the English-speaking world. Written in the style of Georg Simmel, it offers a goldmine of insights for contemporary discussions.
Popitz offers a uniquely systematic treatment of power in which earlier concepts from Aristotle to Weber and Foucault are integrated. He also extends previous accounts through new concepts and distinctions, ranging from standard setting power to data power, and by a captivating analysis of how power emerges from universal human concerns with the future and is linked to our capacities to change our environment and our world. A must read for all students and analysts of power.
Popitz's anatomy of power as an integral part of the human condition is perhaps the most important theoretical statement after Weber.