Power is a part of our everyday conduct, it has a dynamic impact on people’s lives in various ways both good and bad. It enables the elite individuals with higher authority to control outcomes, furthermore tend to feel they are mightier and invincible. This control becomes a central human need, at some point we see this domination and misuse of rights within our own families, communities and organisations collectively or individually. People with wealth and position of high power can exert their influence over others to accomplish their own desires. No person should have power over another, everyone should be equal (Marx. K, ; Engles. F, 1848, Communist Manifesto). Power can prompt excessively control and degenerate an individual when given the measure of intensity whether by consent or coercion. Powerlessness can leave individuals vulnerable without having control of their own decisions and actions and can affect their mood and perceptions. This essay offers an analytical insight of how power works and its effect in our society by its social and cultural implications.
The fictional article, Shameless written by Bajwa, S. (2017) depicted and displayed the main characters’ morals, attributes and intellectual development. Portraying themselves by their physical appearance and values depending on their social stratum, which differentiates them individually. The girl with the red sari learned to make her own way in the world, characterising the growth of an innocent child into an independent woman, granting her own sense of self-confidence. Her sharp contrast and interpersonal relationship with other guests highlighted the manifestation of a woman empowerment regardless of her identity and background. Celebrating her uniqueness allowed her the right to have the ability to control her own life and maintain her personal mannerisms.
On the other hand, both the mother and aunt muttered and judged the Shameless girl because of her social aspects, likewise her independent living status. Disapproval of who she affiliated with, being an energetic young woman reflects the social and cultural influence and expectations of women’s behaviour. The existence of cultural equality engendered the regularity patterns of cultural taste and practice that can alter individual’s social stance. The adult ladies appeared to uphold their unique living standards, interwoven with some sort of power associated with greater feelings of responsibility. To protect their children and husbands from exposing themselves to the unusual influence of the Western culture. Thus, provokes strong reactions purporting the negative remarks towards someone, unknown to their circle of acquaintances.
To label or classifying someone defines as a sociological theory that identified an unusual behaviour. Such is considered as a description of discrimination, it happened more often in our society because of our different perceptions, cultural, gender, religious and political inequalities. Interestingly, the Shameless girl seems unaware of the opprobrium towards her fearless behaviour. Although her behaviour might not fit the culture environment, her unusual charismatic presented herself fascinated and attracted to others. The young woman felt powerless when she later met with the Shameless girl unexpectedly. After their brief encountered she realised the lady with the red sari was totally a different person than whom she was described by the negative stereotype compliments of her family. “Maybe I can be a little shameless too.” (Bajwa, S. 2017). A convincing statement reciprocates acceptance, to appreciate other individuals for who they are and perceive the world from a different dimension as the way they do.
I was brought up in a family, with strong conservative cultural protocols that have an integral part in my upbringing as a Samoan woman. Daily cultural practices are formed and utilized within our household incorporating with the chief system. The chief has the authority to govern and set guidelines for his household. When we have traditional gatherings, the girls are expected to wear traditional attire (puletasi). As a teenager, the idea of wearing one was such a burden, I did not have a choice, even if I want to keep up with the current modern fashion trend. I forced myself to wear my puletasi because it will be a disgrace if any of us females in our household, wear unsuitable clothing for a special occasion. I was unable to make a conscious choice or to express myself the way I want to be. Little did I know being conformed to be accepted robbed my mental strength and sense of self. Our people are accustomed to certain traditional standards and expectations to maintain the authenticity of our culture (faasamoa). These indispensable practices have a significant influence on our people’s behaviour. Living abroad from my family enable myself to wear what makes me feel comfortable and to be the person I want to become.