Power can be defined as the ability to control others, events, or
resources; to make happen what one wants to happen in spite of obstacles,
resistance, or opposition. Power is a thing that is held, coveted, seized, taken
away, lost, or stolen, and it is used in what are essentially adversarial
relationships involving conflict between those with power and those without.
Family power according to me is very important to those
who want to understand how families function as a unit in order to make
decisions about how to manage money, about where to live, about occupational
and educational choices, about parenting practices, about where to go on a
vacation, and so on. Family power differs from family to family but the root
explanation of family power is the same all over the country. Family power can
be classified into various categories.
Legitimate power is sanctioned by the belief system within
the family, such as the belief that the father or husband should be the head of
the household, that parents should have control over raising small children, or
that adolescents should have control over what they wear, how they behave etc.
Legitimate power is witnessed in majority of the families all over the world
wherein the senior most male member of the family is the only person who has
the power and ability to take big decisions for the family. In families, we are
also able to see the way in which the parents play an important role in the
children’s life as they have control over the children’s behavior, way of
dressing, manners etc.
power has its foundation in
specific knowledge that is not available or is unknown to others in the family
and in one’s ability to verbally present the pertinent information in a persuasive
Coercive power involves the use of physical or
psychological force in imposing one’s way on others in the family, assuming
that others are resistant or opposed. Parental discipline, threats, aggression,
conflict, and competition are inherent in the use of coercive power because
getting one’s way is usually realized at the expense of others getting theirs.
Referential power is based on affection, mutual attraction,
friendship, and likeability within the family. Positive feelings can be a powerful
force in making alliances with others, if others want to make those they care
about happy and, conversely, not to disappoint them. A parent’s desire to
please a favored child, a husband’s desire to please his wife, a child’s desire
to please a grandparent are examples of referential power.
the above picture, I am standing next to a person whom I believe symbolizes of
power. This person is none other than my grandfather who plays an important
role in my family.
this picture we were on our way to cast our vote for the municipal elections
that were held last year. This was the 1st
time I was going to cast a vote in any election due to which my grandfather
wanted me to go with him to experience it for the 1st time.
view of the fact that my grandfather is the senior-most member of the family,
he has the most authority and capability to carry out responsibilities that he
believes is good for him and the other family members, take important decisions
for the entire family. Since he is the most powerful member of the family, he
doesn’t seem to need to give an explanation to anyone around him for any
decision or task that he carries out. Thus, since we are able to witness the
importance and belief that my grandfather is the head of the household, even in
my family we are able to experience the legitimate power.
selected this picture merely because my grandfather according to me has plenty
of power to make important decisions be it in the nuclear family (which
consists of my grandfather, grandmother, father, mother, brother and I) or the
joint family (which consists of my grandfathers brothers and their families).
Since he is the eldest brother among his siblings, he has the power,
responsibility and ability to understand his siblings’ problems and help them
out whenever they are facing any issues. Whenever any member of the family is
in need of any help, my grandfather readily helps them, putting all the other
work to the side as he believes in helping out all the family members whenever necessitated.
grandfather’s word is the final word and thus whenever there are decisions
taken by him, changing it is very difficult.