The Power Manual

Liberate yourself by understanding and mastering power dynamics

All social relations are laden with power. Getting out from under dominant power relations and mastering power dynamics is perhaps the most essential skill for change agents across all sectors seeking to ignite positive change in the world.

This concise action manual explores major concepts of power, with a focus on the dynamics of domination and liberation, and presents methods for shifting power relations and enacting freedom. The Power Manual:

– Clearly distills the major theories of power from post-modern and feminist theory to business management and developmental psychology, and beyond
– Examines key ways that power is deployed and transformed in society
– Presents a new theory of power based on enactment-the bringing of something to life through one’s actions
– Explains how to refuse powerless identities and enact powerful ones
– Helps readers choose egalitarian interactions over domination
– Demonstrates mastering the process of power expansion
– Features workshop games and group activities for identifying and shifting power relations.
– This accessible action manual is ideal for change agents, leaders, and activists across all nonprofit and business sectors aiming to understand, master, and shift power relations.

Cyndi Suarez

Cyndi Suarez works with leaders in nonprofit organizations, philanthropy, and social movements, including most recently the Movement for Black Lives. She helps social change leaders move from struggle to flow by helping them build elegant ideas and structures. She has a MS in Nonprofit Management from Southern New Hampshire University, and studied Feminist Theory at the New School for Social Research. Suarez is Senior Editor at Nonprofit Quarterly, the leading nonprofit journal. She lives in Boston, MA.

Chapter Title Abstract Contributors Pages Year Price

Preview

Why do power relations matter in social change, or for any of us who care about living the best life we can live? Because we have to be clear about the type of power we seek. We need power to … 4 $0.40

Preview

There are three core propositions in chapter 1, Effective Interactions, drawing on the work of Michel Foucault and bell hooks: (1) that there are both supremacist and liberatory ways to act out … 4 $0.40

Preview

Interaction Patterns, highlights the thinking of Audre Lorde, Roland Barthes, and Franz Fanon. Lorde identified difference as the key factor that triggers power dynamics, or unequal interactions. … 9 $0.90

Preview

Transmission of Affect, focuses on the work of Theresa Brennan. Brennan used research from the field of psychoneuroendocrinology, the study of hormones and their relationship to behavior, to … 6 $0.60

Preview

Chapter 4, The Sources of Power Relations, introduces the reality that the way we relate to power is developmental and that the foundation starts in childhood, where we learn through our … 7 $0.70

Preview

Powerless and Powerful Identities, explores the space between Gramsci’s hegemony, the idea that the very acceptance of power as dominance renders one powerless, and the philosophy of … 11 $1.10

Preview

The Social Aspects of Choice, focuses on how choice is informed by one’s environment and how one participates in collective choice. I highlight what I found most important about Carole … 10 $1.00

Preview

Supreme Choice, furthers the thinking on Supreme Power introduced in chapter 5. It concludes the section on choice by asserting that one ultimately has choice over everything one experiences. It … 6 $0.60

Preview

Rites of Passage, highlights Victor Turner’s thinking on liminality, the space of transformation, the ritual of transitioning from one state to another. One leaves behind previous … 8 $0.80

Preview

Theater as Interaction and Identity Creation, explores the first of two social spaces that at their core are about the exchange of power — theater and games. Fundamentally, to act is to … 11 $1.10

Preview

The Purpose of Play, begins with Stuart Brown’s discovery of the evolutionary purpose of play. Brown outlines the features of play, one being the creation of potential future events that … 11 $1.10

Preview

The Structure of Games, delves into the function of games, which is, according to Henricks, to order and reorder interactions with others. It looks at how status impacts the types of games people … 12 $1.20

Preview

The Party game comes from the field of theater. Actors play it to learn the subtle differences in status between characters — how they manifest and are transformed. The purpose of this game … 4 $0.40

Preview

The Stand, Sit, Kneel game is from the field of theater. Actors play it to learn how to amplify the status differences in scenes and reflect shifts in status. The purpose of this game is to … 4 $0.40

Preview

The Tongue Twister game is from the field of theater. Actors play it to learn how to be in tune with their stage partner. The purpose of this game is to use the signs of interactions to tell a … 5 $0.50

Preview

The Meisner game is from the field of theater. Actors play it to learn how to be in tune with their stage partner. Sanford Meisner, an American theater master, developed a unique approach to … 5 $0.50

Preview

The Yes, But/Yes, And game comes from the field of theater. The goal for the actor is to keep the story going, even in tricky interactions. Therefore, blocking and accepting are key acting … 4 $0.40

Preview

The Circle game is from the field of theater. Actors play it to learn how to be in tune with the other actors on stage. When on stage, even if the actor is not directly interacting with another … 4 $0.40

Preview

The Lane game is from the field of theater. Actors play it to learn how to be in tune with the other actors on stage. When on stage, even if the actor is not directly interacting with another … 4 $0.40

Preview

The Body Language game comes from the field of theater. Actors play it to learn the subtle differences in status between characters — how they manifest and are transformed. The purpose of … 4 $0.40

Preview

The Switching game is from the field of theater. Actors play it to learn how to be in tune with their stage partner and use action to drive status. The purpose of this game is to use the signs of … 9 $0.90

Preview

The Status Master game was designed to explore the seven patterns of domination — tolerance, objectification, assimilation, authority, objectivity, accumulation, and certainty. The purpose … 7 $0.70

Preview

The Scene Study game is from the field of theater. Actors play it to learn how to understand the interactions in a scene and the core idea driving the interactions. The purpose of this game is to … 5 $0.50

Preview

The Character Study game is from the field of theater. Actors play it to learn how to understand their character. The goal for the actor is to live truthfully under imaginary circumstances. Good … 5 $0.50