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Social power or political power in social science and politics, is the ability to influence or outright control the behavior of people. The term "authority" is often used for power perceived as legitimate by the social structure.
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- Social power [is the] potential influence, the ability of a person or group to induce or prevent change in another. Social control [is] the process by which members of a social entity are influenced to adhere to values and principles of proper behavior deemed appropriate for that social entity.
- Bertram H. Raven (1999). "Kurt Lewin address: Influence, Power, Religion, and the Mechanisms of Social Control." Journal of Social Issues. 55(1):161-186. p. 161