The Theory Of Empowerment Theory

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3.2.3 Empowerment Theory
The concept of empowerment is of increasing interest to researchers, practitioners and citizens concerned about mental health issues. In some respects, empowerment is a new buzzword. As Edelman (1977) has noted in relation to language and the politics of human services, sometimes new language is used to describe the same old practices. Others believe that empowerment language can actually lead to raised awareness (Rappaport, 1986). Regardless, a growing number of people are searching to understand the meaning of empowerment and ways it can be used to change their settings and lives.

Empowerment can begin to be understood by examining the concepts of power and powerlessness (Moscovitch and Drover, 1981). Power is defined by the Cornell Empowerment Group as the "capacity of some persons and organizations to produce intended, foreseen and unforeseen effects on others" (Cornell Empowerment Group, 1989, p.2). There are many sources of power. Personality, property/wealth, and influential organizations have been identified by Galbraith (1983) as critical sources of power in the last part of this century. Others have pointed out that the class-dominated nature of our society means that a small number of people have vast economic or political power, while the majority has little or none (Moscovitch & Drover, 1981)

At the individual level, powerlessness can be seen as the expectation of the person that his/her own actions will be ineffective in influencing

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