Authority, Other social sciences

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Summary

The word authority (Derived from the Latin word auctoritas) can be used to mean power given by the state (in the form of government, judges, police officers, etc.) or by academic knowledge of an area (someone can be an authority on a subject).

Details

Since the emergence of social sciences, authority has become a subject of research in a variety of empirical settings: the family (parental authority), small groups (informal authority of leadership), intermediate organizations such as schools, churches, armies, industries and bureaucracies (organizational and bureaucratic authorities), and society-wide or inclusive organizations, ranging from the most primitive tribal society to the modern nation-state and intermediate organization (political authority).

The definition of authority in contemporary social science remains a matter of debate. According to Michaels in the Encyclopedia of Social Sciences, authority is the capacity, innate or acquired for exercising ascendancy over a group. Other scientists argue that authority is not a capacity but a relationship. It is power that is sanctioned and institutionalized.

Howard Bloom hints at a parallel between authority and respect/reverence for ancestors.

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External Links

  • WikipediaQualitionary - Legal Definitions - AuthorityAppeal to Authority Breakdown

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