2014-02-20

Power

The concept of power is of central importance in gender research in understanding how societies and social relations are constructed. Power is expressed in different ways and functions in different levels of society, such as interpersonal interaction and societal organisation in both local and global level. A structural perspective on power and inequality asserts that systematic inequalities affect individuals and makes it more difficult for some people to get a job, a home or food. Sexism, racism and ableism are examples of structures that divide people into groups with different access to power.

It is important to point out that these structures not affect all people equally and is affected by the different biological and social characteristics. Also, a person is never affected by only one structure, for example gender, but by several different structures. Power and resistance are tightly interlinked. In fact, resistance is a type of demanding power. Refusing to comply with a binary gender norm, struggling for one’s right to speak one’s native tongue, and trying to use public transportation system designed for people with a certain type of functionality are some examples of resistance against the power structures that make it difficult, or even impossible, for some people to enjoy their rights.

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