Common Behavioral Patterns that Perpetuate Power Relations of Domination

Power is the ability to act the more access to resources one has, the more options one has.Power differences are expressed in institutional and cultural contexts. These power differences continually inform our interpersonal relationships.The following chart shows some patterns people learn in order to survive in a hierarchical society. Not to conform to expected behavior risks social ostracism, privilege and /or one’s survival.These patterns take place in correspondence to each other; they are tendencies in relationships not personality characteristics. They are to be read horizontally. When we ignore these patterns or fail to act to transform them, we reinforce the dominant culture's injustice, even if we aspire to egalitarian relationships. It takes courage to step outside of the norms and feels as though one is going against the grain. Because they are relational a shift on one side brings about a change on both sides and the pattern is broken....

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