power in human relationships

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Purpose: Power is embedded in many kinds of social relations, from interpersonal relations, to institutions, to structural frameworks of whole societies. Power is deeply embedded in culture, including systems of power such as race and racism, ethnicity and nationalism, gender, human sexuality, economics, and family. Every relationship has a power dynamic. In some, you have power over another person. In others, someone has power over you. Or the dynamic of power may shift back and forth depending on the circumstances. In this Assignment we will explore power relationships in your everyday life.


Over the course of one day, make a list of the relationships and interactions you have with family, friends, teachers, students, and others. In a 4-6 page paper, answer the following questions:

1) Identify each of the personal relationships you experienced during your day of observation.

  • Describe the way power is balanced in each relationship
  • What political negotiations were present in each relationship

2) Reflect on how power is organized in your life.

  • How does power intersect with age, gender, income, race, religion, sexuality, and citizenship?
  • Consider how these power dynamics were established in your area and experience. How do they differ from the larger population, and what might change them over time?

Note: This course has “Resubmission” status enabled to help you if you realize you submitted an incorrect or blank file, or if you need to submit multiple documents as part of your Assignment. Resubmission of an Assignment after it is graded, to attempt a better grade, is not permitted.

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