collective and distributive power
- In his essay on’The Distribution of Power in American Society’ (inStructure and Process in Modern Societies, 1960), Talcott Parsons distinguishes the distributive aspects of power (‘power by A over B’), from its collective aspects (‘the power of A and B together’). The former are to the fore where the relationship between A and B is a zero-sum game; that is, when there is a fixed amount of power to be distributed among participants, and for one member to gain power another must lose; the latter emerge where individuals in co-operation can enhance their joint power over a third party.
Dictionary of sociology. 2013.
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