- Is society marked by the existence of a single centre of political power? Critically examine. 20
- The recent phenomenon of ‘the glass cliff’ seems a progressive step towards women empowerment, but instead is a subtle form of patriarchal legacy. Examine. 10
1. Is society marked by the existence of a single centre of political power? Critically examine. 20
- Power is defined as the ability of an individual, group, or institution to influence or exercise control over other people and achieve their goals despite possible opposition or resistance.
- Different theorists have given different theories of power. One of those important theories are elite theorists.
- Elite theorists argue that elitism is incompatible with democracy and there is exist a single centre of power in the society.
- Marxist and elitists argue that power is concentrated in the hands of a few.
- But this view is contested by the pluralist thesis of power. This view is a bid to explain the power distribution in modern democracies.
- They argue that the society has dispersed sources of power and multiple centres of political power.
- Robert Dahl observed that local politics is a business of bargaining and compromise, with no single group dominating the decision making.
- According to Karl Mannheim a policy may be seemingly formed by the purported elite, but in a democracy there are various pulls and pressures that actually shape a policy.
- Anthony argues that individuals defend their interests in the market, trade unions associations etc.
- Arnold M Rose also supports Dahl's view and gave a multiple influence hypothesis.
- Pressure groups and political parties are a true representation of the plural nature of power structure in society.
- Even pluralists theories are not free from criticism:
- They are accused of ignoring non-decision and safe decision making.
- It is argued that, at the highest level the decisions are mostly taken by the chosen elites
- Despite what critics argue, the pluralists' thesis of power represents the true nature of power in modern democratic society.
Q2. The recent phenomenon of ‘the glass cliff’ seems a progressive step towards women empowerment, but instead is a subtle form of patriarchal legacy. Examine. 10
- The term glass cliff is used with reference to a situation in which a woman or member of a minority group ascends to a leadership position in challenging circumstances where the risk of failure is high.
- Few have argued that whenever the situation of crisis arises, women are the ultimate choice to face them. This finds its genesis in the ‘think crisis think women’ theory, which holds the view that women possess the quality to handle the situation of crisis better than men.
- Many companies and organisations did see better results and were able to bring their organisations out of the storms.
- But many claim that the term is not synonymous to the empowerment of women. Rather it is a process of shifting the burden of failure on women and saving men from the blame of failures.
- This phenomenon reinforces the stereotypes about females that they are not fit for the leadership roles.
- The companies look good when they promote women to leadership roles so even if they fail, the company still earns a reputation of being progressive, but also sets them up for failure.
- Further, when the company fails to succeed, women can be replaced with their male counterparts, with the company also having a scapegoat to blame for their failures.
- The phenomenon is not limited to just women but other marginalised groups of the society too.
- There are many terms like these prevalent in society and this is nothing but the manifestation of the age old patriarchal mindset. Now is the time to take serious steps and treat women at par with their male counterparts and not obstruct their opportunities.