Variable: Power

"To show power truly you not only have to show how it is used but also the effect on those on whom it is used. You have to show the effect of power on the powerless." Robert A. Caro.

Power is the ability to alter others' behaviour, either by coercion or deference (Wrong, 1988; Mann, 1984). The powerful, often elites with political or economic power, or both, can have access to resources denied the powerless. An example is politicians, either small-town or big-city, that make land-use decisions and personally profit from these decisions at the expense of other citizens (Caro, 1974).

The distribution of power can be indirectly measured by certain decision-making activities, such as elections. It also can be measured by levels of domination and subordination - the disproportion of Blacks and Latinos in prison or on death row, "glass ceilings" faced by women workers, the persistence of spousal abuse, and relationships between timber workers and company executives. Power is often coupled with wealth, and so measures of relative financial status can also be used as indirect measures of power.

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