Free Essay on Authority

Published: 2018-09-28
Free Essay on Authority
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Sociology Society
Pages: 5
Wordcount: 1286 words
11 min read

Respectability Politics

Many people grow up in places where they are supposed to direct respect toward authority, both implied and real. At times, individuals usually become confused about the symbols that are associated with authority, such as appearance, titles, and possessions. In the case of certain people, the authority has a notable influence on them as opposed to others, while their level of compliance differs based on their situation. However, it is worth noting that behavior characterizes real authority. The outside reflections associated with power just remain considerations. People might dress well and have fancy titles, although these just depict manifestation of authority. Real influence prevails when individuals exercise high-status behavior in a constant and natural manner. Characteristics, such as being composed, body language, voice tone, and lack of insecurity, as well as other behavioral features, are vital for other forces, such as titles and clothing to be accorded meaning in the face of authority (Pratkanis, 2011). Thus, the paper discusses authority as an essential weapon of influence and its applicability in the real world.

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Authority Examples

Authority is prevalent in diverse aspects of societal life, including politics, religion, and business among others fields. The different settings exercise authority differently. For instance, in the political environment, the authority might prevail in the state. Each state has various institutions that are responsible for exercising authority based on age-old practices. In India, for example, the British established the Civil Service Agency, which still prevails even today. India's Armed Forces also serve as a different body that operates as a government subordinate, although it is an old and an outstanding institution. Moreover, each state usually establishes agencies that are supposed to deal with certain key issues. For example, the authority of the port of London was established under special legislation to exercise autonomy over certain matters. The institutions are also needed to support themselves via property taxes or other kinds of fees or collections for services rendered. Moreover, in terms of authority in the political arena, people normally consider top ranking officials in government as having notable authority, thereby leading the public to accord them notable respect based on the security they are offered in line with the influences they have toward their lives (Sikor & Lund, 2010).

Concerning religion, major religions worldwide, including Islam, Hinduism, or Christianity consider God as exercising supreme authority. All scriptures on religion regard God as having wisdom and authority, which is tremendously superior, unlike the one that human beings can possess. The primary reason surrounding this kind of authority is that it targets much compassion and power in line with the spiritual and physical realms. Anything divine is considered as belonging to the Creator and hence compelling to any typical creatures. Hence, the divinity apparent in religious scriptures claims for ultimate authority for reality and truth while at the same time providing directions and rules on how to use creation. In addition, in case of religions, such as Hindu, Christianity, and Islam, the worshippers recognize their priests as people in positions of authority since they make certain key decisions that influence the society as well as seek them whenever they need any form of spiritual nourishment (Kersten & Olsson, 2014).

In the business world, authority entails the form of hierarchy that exists within a firm from the executives to entry-level workers. Organizational authority members comprise of functional authority and line staff. The management levels making up power in a business setting comprise of the top level, middle level, and operational level management. The forms of authority present in a business environment have a notable influence on the cohesiveness and productivity between the management members and employees. The authorities in a company play the role of ensuring they set clear goals through directing workers how they can meet the objectives of the company, create policies and procedures, as well as delegate tasks (Russell & Cohn, 2012).

Authority Effectiveness in Different Cultures

Concerning the effectiveness of authority, different cultures perceive it differently based on certain situations. For instance, in the case of individualistic and collectivist cultures, the decisions made within families are different. For the collectivist cultures, social hierarchy exists based on birth order, gender, and age among other elements that depict authority. The elders within the family have authority in that they are accorded important respect while they have the duty of ensuring that the family members engage in tasks that are best for a family as opposed to benefitting themselves. The elders are usually the ones that make decisions, on who the children will marry, duration of their schooling, and the places they seek employment. The decisions that the individuals in authority make in the case of collectivist cultures are obeyed with minimal questioning unlike regard to individualistic cultures. However, certain collectivist cultures, especially those with a substantial egalitarian orientation that supports shared process of making decisions. For individualistic societies, such as America, however, the dominant ideal is that individuals should have the capacity of making their individual decisions. Even though young people respect the decisions that the elders make, they prefer being able to make decisions concerning their lives on their own (NCSET, 2016).

In portraying the ways in which authority in particular collectivity families differs from the individualistic nature of American culture, Hawaiian and Hispanic families come into question. For the Hawaiian children, they do not receive significant control or choice within the household. Although they are usually seen, they are never heard. The elders within the family anticipate them to take care of themselves and siblings within the families. They should also exercise respect toward their elders and perform the different family chores. They should refrain from embarrassing the family in any way through ensuring that they do not draw any form of attention to themselves. Furthermore, in the case of most Hispanic families, parents are responsible for controlling vital decisions within the family. They parents continue exercising authority until their children attain adulthood and when they leave the family to be married. Assuming that the choice students with disabilities make can supersede that of parents violates patterns of culture within the family and might result in a different family system. Here, it is apparent that the Hawaiian and Hispanic families exercise collectivist practices, with which most of the authority remains with parents. This differs with the individualistic nature of the American society, which allows children to have considerable autonomy over the decisions they make whereas the influence of the adults is minimal (NCSET, 2016).

From the figure, the Hispanic Gen Z shows a close inclination toward family, community mindedness, determination, and hyper-aspiration drive. The Hispanic mostly confides as well as is stressed by family. The individual is also oriented toward the community while makes decisions based on emotions and altruism. For the White Non–Hispanic, the person is loosely defined regarding culture. The individual prefers absorbing diverse cultures and other non-American experiences. The White Gen Z is also more practical when it comes to making decisions, such as purchases. Hence, it is apparent that the two individuals differ regarding their closeness to family, culture, and independence in making certain decisions. Here, Figure 1 reveals that marketers should consider targeting the psychology of individuals based on their culture to allow them to connect with them more effectively.


In conclusion, the authority has considerable influence in diverse environments ranging from families, politics, religion, and business environments among other areas. Different settings exercise authority differently. Therefore, when dealing with authority, it is essential to lay emphasis on issues such as culture, religion, political affiliation, age, and race among other vital areas. This way, it would be possible to interact with authority more effectively based on the context one is operating.

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