Power can be defined as the comparative ability of different individuals to pressure each other; and it has an essential role in advocacy. Aiding professionals usually work for the disadvantaged in the community and for them to advance their apprehensions; the activity of helping these professionals requires one to know how to influence the balance of power that exists between groups and individuals involved in a conflict. Professionals conversant with the structural theories and systems can make use of these theories to aid their power analysis and analysis of influences that individuals impose on others. This paper analysis these means of analyzing power based on ten power sources, which include associations, expertise, resources possession, procedure control, sanctions, legitimacy, nuisance, habit, personal attributes and morality. The paper will specifically put its focus on two of these powers; resource power and moral power. In specific terms, these powers are; expert power, associational power, resource power, procedural power, legitimate power, sanction power, nuisance power, habitual power, moral power, and personal power.
Resource power is the kind of power that results from control of assets that are valuable such as materials, money, or any other services and goods. The inverse version of this power is when an individual has the ability to live without these needed resources or make others do without them. Generally, this kind of power is useful in solving conflicts through the exchange of goods or resources or through refusing to exchange these resources. In many cases, clients are usually at a disadvantage when they rely on resource power. However, if a conflict occurs at a social agency then it is usually at an advantageous situation since it has the ability to access more resources in terms of professionals and money. Advocates can be of help to clients if they guide them on ways of securing assets from, for example, sources like social assistance benefits funds for legal aids among others. Additionally, professionals such as lawyers, educators, and other professionals might be of help if they offer to donate their time to the clients.
Another way clients can be helped to solve conflicts is to avail technology or enhance their access to technology. In most cases, it is people with money who have more access to technology than other individuals. Advocates, for example, can achieve this by promoting a better access to equipment and education in libraries, schools and other institutions. Advocates can also campaign for and promote higher levels of literacy. Advocates can also enhance advocate powers by promoting or assisting with alternate exchange of resources. Some individuals might not have money for exchange but might have other resources. Advocates can make it possible for clients to exchange goods they have for those they do not have and need.
This is another form of powesr that results from appeals to values that are widely held like charity, family, privacy, freedom, democracy and fairness. Advocates can finesse this kind of power by using language that puts their cause in a better, positive light. Moral power forces individuals to make decisions on the bases of interests and values other than positions. However, positional bargaining usually results with each individual claiming for moral superiority. Based on this kind of power, advocates can help clients solve conflicts by helping them focus on values that are common. Putting the values of another in a bad light is unethical and goes against respect for diverse groups and individuals. Victim mentality is one way most people plead so as to gain support and sympathy. However, this technique can be damaging ultimately. This is because when people consider themselves victims, they never take any responsibility for bettering themselves. They become depended on mistrust and fear, and they are unable to recognize constructive CR techniques. These people might need the help of advocates who can do so by validating their fears, but at the same time help them gain more self- efficacy and confidence. By helping clients achieve these goals, the advocate helps victims take responsibility of their lives and better themselves by moving on with their lives. Advocates can also help such victims gain moral power by giving them support and encouragement to act in moral ways, like solving issues in ways that are non- violent.
These powers can be extremely beneficial in helping individuals solve conflicts morally and with resources that they can afford. Utilizing these powers can be an extremely helpful way of solving conflicts.
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