Power inside and outside the family
by Phil Bartle, PhD
Applying this dimension to the study of family
The political dimension of society is all about power: how it is allocated and exercised; what degrees of legitimacy it has; how much power an individual, a group or an institution may have; what changes in power arrangements may happen.
In a sociological study of the family, therefore, there are two elements of the power dimension.
If we were to follow in the micro level bias of family literature, we would look at the power arrangements inside a family, their dynamics, how they relate to other elements of the family, how they might change, and how they are perceived.
If we go beyond the micro bias, however, we can relate the family, in its composition and dynamics, to the political situation in the community and society outside the family, and what changes may have taken place or may be taking place.
Political analysis should include both that within the family and that outside the family.
The best reference is the paper “Dimensions,” and the section on the political dimension of community and culture.
Alternatively, you might look at the Key Words, and see “ Political Dimension.”
You might note that the political dimension of sociology is not the same thing as the everyday notion of politics, politics written by journalists, or even of political science, and goes beyond such things as voting, political parties, parliament and government.
You might also observe that ideology, closely associated with everyday notions of politics, does not belong the the political dimension of culture and society, but to the values dimension.
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