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State Power and Its Importance in Sociological Study, Essay Example

Pages: 3

Words: 930

Essay

Introduction

A proper comprehension of the state and all it stands for in the contemporary society is the beginning of understanding the character and dispensation of power in the society. This is due to the part it plays in the lives of the citizens as it controls their actions in different ways. For instance, the state makes laws that control social relationships, taxes, education, services such as hospitals, employment among other things. A state can be defined as a set of interconnected institutional associations and arrangements. This definition implies that it can be used to describe social relationships. In addition, it implies that the state has powers that allow it to carry out its obligations to itself and the citizens. A networked society, on the other hand, is a term associated with the social, political, economic and cultural trends caused by the outspread of networked, digital technologies. In essence, a networked society is one that has been influenced by modernized concepts, especially information technology. In this regard, this paper will analyse the state power and its sociological impact on networked society.

State Power

According to sociological studies, state power is a broad term that may imply the political power, police power, and power in international relations. These three terms can be explained in detail as follows

Police power

Generally, this power entails the capability of a state to control its citizen’s behaviour and acts and impose order in the country. This arises for the sake of the ethics, health, welfare and the safety of its citizens. In the US, the powers that are not entrusted to the main government are allotted to the people or the state (Polillo, 2012, 45). This implies that the police power is given to them by the state governments and the citizens of a particular state. In addition, it means that the federal government is not in charge of all the powers governing the country, others are meant for the citizens while others are meant for the states (Evenden, 2008, 36).

The adoption and application of police power is done through the executive and legislative parts in the states. This is done through the ratification and the adoption of acts related to the issues tackled by the institution. The states have the power to make the people obey these laws. However, they must not infringe on their citizen’s human rights. The police use various forms to impose the respect for the law. These forms include coercion, legal sanctions such as jail time, and even physical means. These forms have drawn several criticisms, especially when it is seen as infringing on human rights.

Power Associated with International Relations

This power often arises if a country is superior in one way or another to other nations around the globe. For example, the US is considered to have overall power over the other states and hence termed as a superpower. This does not imply that it has the power to do as it wills; it implies that it can do everything as long as it is inside the confines of international laws and the human rights. Several nations have power internationally considering their political, economic, and even social undertaking. For instance, Iraq can have international power over America because it possesses oil wealth needed by America. This implies that one country can have power over another because it possesses something needed by another.

There are different concepts related to power associated with international relations. These include power as measure of influence, as a goal, as a reflection of victory and as a symbol of status. Perhaps the most influencing factors for this kind of power are the military and economic might. This implies that countries possessing the two are more likely to be above others with regards to this subject.

Political Power

The social and political definition of power is the capability to impact on the actions and behaviour of people. The term often used politically and socially is authority and may be used to imply either evil or good use of power. This is the best representation of state power in that it is responsible for all the other powers exhibited in the society. The political power enables those elected or appointed to various positions to mould laws that would affect the lives of others. The main thing about political power in the modern societies is the fact it is inferred to the politicians by the citizens through elections.

State Power and Networked Society

First, a networked society is the one whose social structure is comprised of links driven by information and communication technologies. It is a modern society that relies on the movement of information from one section to the subsequent section through nodes. As much as it is affected by culture, the structure is more technological than conventional. There are four concepts related to a networked society, which includes, networking, the network, networked and lastly network making ((Polillo, 2012, 45). The understanding of these concepts needs appropriate comprehension of state power. This is because these concepts are associated with power in that any one attributed with one of the concepts possesses the power associated with it. In different words, this can be described as power inferred to the people through their effort.

Reference list

Evenden, M. D. (2008). Harold Innis, the Arctic Survey, and the politics of social science during the second World War. Canadian Historical Review, 79(1), 36.

Citizenship, Humanity, and Cosmopolitan Harm Conventions. (2001). International Political Science Review, 22(3), 261.

Polillo, S. (2012). Globalization: Civilizing or destructive? An empirical test of the international determinants of generalized trust. International Journal Of Comparative Sociology (Sage Publications, Ltd.), 53(1), 45.

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