Power from the People? Critical Reflection On A Conceptualization of Power

David Fryer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Isaac Prilleltensky's The Role of Power in Wellness, Oppression, and Liberation: The Promise of Psychopolitical Validity (2008) is commended as an interesting reading of the literature on power, which interestingly includes some and excludes other relevant writing. However, doubts are expressed as to whether the term power, as used in this article by Prilleltensky, is meaningful, necessary, useful, or advisable to community/critical psychology because it is fundamentally individualistic and psychologistic. Instead, it is proposed that power be understood as a dynamic of social systems rather than a property of individuals within them and that the apparent power of individuals is understood as the subjective manifestation of the societal distribution of power. Finally, it is suggested that Prilletensky's article itself functions in politically and ideologically conservative ways in relation to a number of problematically powerful interest groups.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)238-245
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Community Psychology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2008


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