Power, its forms, bases, and uses (Key concepts in the social sciences)

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9780060907020: Power, its forms, bases, and uses (Key concepts in the social sciences)

In one grand effort, this is an anatomy of power, a history of the ways in which it has been defined, and a study of its forms (force, manipulation, authority, and persuasion), its bases (individual and collective resources, political mobilization), and its uses. The issues that Dennis Wrong addresses range from the philosophical and ethical to the psychological and political. Much of the work is punctuated with careful examples from history. While the author illuminates his discussion with references to Weber, Marx, Freud, Plato, Dostoevsky, Orwell, Hobbes, Arendt, and Machiavelli, he keeps his arguments grounded in contemporary practical issues, such as class conflicts, multi-party politics, and parent-child relationships.

In his new introduction, prepared for the 1995 edition of Power, the author reconsiders the concept of power, now locating it in the broader traditions of the social sciences rather than as a series of actions and actors within the sociological tradition. As a result. Wrong emphasizes such major distinctions as "power over" and "power to," and various conflations of power as commonly used. The new opening provides the reader with a deeper appreciation of the non-reductionist character of the book as a whole.

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About the Author:

Dennis H. Wrong is professor emeritus of sociology at New York University. He has also taught at Princeton, Rutgers, Brown, the University of Toronto, and the New School for Social Research. He is the author of numerous titles, including Reflections on a Politically Skeptical Era; Power: Its Forms, Bases, and Uses; and The Modern Condition: Essays at Century’s End.

Review:

"Wrong offers a richly informative synopsis, not only of a substantial part of what we know about politics, but also of pretty much all that we know to date about power."

David Braybrooke, Canadian Journal of Political Science

"Wrong has given us a thoughtful, liberal and provocative analysis of many key features of an utterly vital phenomenon."

—Frederick W. Frey, American Political Science Review

"Those who need conceptual clarification of power should consult Wrong."

—Michael Mann, American Journal of Sociology

"Power is a full-length, closely-packed volume, which is likely to remain for quite a few years the standard sociological treatment of its subject."

—Gianfranco Poggi, Contemporary Sociology

"[Power] remains a very good analysis of power and a good summary of what was written on the subject in the 1960s and 1970s. . . . The new preface to the book is extensive and interesting."

—Paul Brooker, Political Science 

"Since its original publication in 1979 [Power] has offered what is perhaps the most clear and comprehensive discussion of power available in a single volume."

—Barry Barnes, Canadian Journal of Sociology 

"Power: Its Forms, Bases and Uses is thoroughly refreshing. Wrong is not interested in summarizing the vast literature on power, assessing our current state of knowledge about power, or pursuing a specific empirical problem. Instead, he tackles some of the 'big questions.' His analysis is sophisticated and penetrating, relying on critical argument and illustrations drawn from history and literature."

—David F. Luckenbill, Social Forces

 

 

 

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Wrong, Dennis Hume
Published by Harper and Row (1980)
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