Monday, March 13, 2006
The Dynamics of Power
I've been thinking about the dynamics of power in relationships within the kingdom of God. At this point, I'm still processing my ideas about how this affects leadership, authority, and our roles in relation to one another.
Let me start with some background about social status.
People do not hold equal status in societies.
Some are privileged. Others are disadvantaged.
The typical things that determine privilege are race, gender, and economic status.
Ways in which privilege and disadvantage manifest include level of inclusion and access to influence.
Subordinant is the term for those in lower power positions.
Dominant is the term for those in higher power positions.
Privilege is the access to benefits that results from being identified as a member of a dominant group.
Privilege is not earned in any tangible way.
It is just there for dominants.
Bias or discrimination is the denial of access to benefits that results from being identified as a member of a subordinant group.
Bias or discrimination is not deserved.
It is just there for subordinants.
Even the best of intentions to create an inclusive environment are hindered when the dynamics of power relationships are ignored.
At this point, I am just looking at the reality of privilege, acknowledging that in certain situations, it is within my ability to either include and empower or to exclude and disempower.
Like I said, I'm still just chewing on these ideas.
I'd love to hear your thoughts about this topic.