Power and Inequality, Article Review Example

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Article Review

The first article read on the topic of power and inequality is titled, “The Power of Inequality” and was written and published by Intentious. This article discusses the level of inequality experienced by women in many different countries throughout the world. As the title implies, the concept that there can be power in equality not only for oppressors, but also for those who suffer the inequality is presented in the article.

A summarization of the top ten and the bottom ten best and worst countries for women to live and work in according to their laws on women’s rights and safety is given. Justice, health, economics, education and politics are the specific categories used by Newsweek/Daily Beast in a 2011 survey and reported in the Intentious article to rank the countries’ levels of equality or inequality. Iceland, Sweden, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Switzerland, Norway, USA, Australia and the Netherlands were the countries listed as the top 10 best for equality of women. Guinea, Sudan, Ethiopia, Pakistan, Niger, Solomon Islands, Mali, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Yemen, Afghanistan and Chad were rated as the bottom 10 worst countries for women to live and work in. (Stublogs, 2012) Specific crimes and acts of cruelty and oppression enacted against women are listed in the article. These acts include rape, genital mutilation, restricted access to education and health services, illegal imprisonment, and forced prostitution. Statistics on child marriage and gaps in the ratio of male to female land ownership are given.

Some of the tactics used to enforce inequality against women are summarized. Practices such as violence, discrimination, restricted education, lack of voting rights, and pressure from older females are listed. But the purpose of the article is to promote International Women’s Day. When a cause of inequality is able to gather support and unison from enough numbers and gain backing from government decision makers, that cause can develop a power of its own to influence policy and enact change.

The second article addressing the topic of power and inequality is titled, “The Class Domination Theory of Power” by G. William Domhoff. In his article, Domhoff discusses the idea that power in the United States has been controlled by a small, stable group of income-producing landowners and business owners since the beginning of its nationhood in 1776. Domhoff makes the statement that, “the only power network of any consequence in the history of the United States has been the economic one.” (Domhoff, 2005) The article is broken down into different sections: power indicators, the three main groups that influence government, the power elite and government, and weaknesses of the working class.

Power indicators are a series of revealing signs and some of the indicators may be present but not necessarily all. There are three main indicators of power: who benefits, who governs, and who wins? If all three indicators “triangulate” on one social class or group, then that class or group can be convincingly labeled as powerful. (Domhoff, 2005)

According to Domhoff, the three main groups that influence government are the social upper class, the corporate community, and the policy-planning network. The social upper class are comprised of socialites and jet-setters. Executives, CEOs, and Boards of Directors make up the corporate community. The policy-planning network refers to Boards of Trustees and hired experts. The power-elite is a leadership formed by some members of these three main groups. An interesting point about the power-elite is that its existence combines class theory and organizational theory, two distinct theories sometimes considered as in opposition to each other. There are three processes the power-elite uses to influence government and these are special-interest, policy-making, and candidate selection processes.

According to Domhoff, the power-elite are able to continue unchallenged because of separation among the working class. Members of the working class have long been divided and separated into groups through policy. Examples of group separation are whites and African-Americans, Hispanics, and Asians.

References

Domhoff, G. (2005, April). The Class Domination Theory of Power. Retrieved September 3, 2012, from Who Rules America: http://www2.ucsc.edu/whorulesamerica/power/class_domination.html

Stublogs. (2012, March 8). The Power of Inequality. Retrieved September 4, 2012, from Intentious: http://intentious.com/2012/03/08/the-power-of-inequality/

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