How to Understand Power [7:01]


We live within systems of power, whether we realize it or not. One might say that we live in a representative democracy and therefore the people have the power, but the reality is quite different.  Discussing where power truly resides is often considered taboo, but understanding who makes the rules under which we all live is profoundly important. Eric Liu discusses the six types of civic power, how they operate, and what you can do. Ultimately, the power and character of individuals constitute citizenship.

Discussion Questions

  • Have you ever experienced or witnessed an imbalance of power?
  • Among the six powers described, are any more valid or ethical than others?
  • What are some historical examples of power, especially changes in who has power?
  • What is the difference between a social movement and a mob (if any)?
  • Is concentration of power by a few individuals or entities always bad? Why or why not?
  • What is one thing you would like to change?

Keywords: Civil rights, democracy, history, life skills, politics, society, power, politics, organizing, social movement


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