Essay on Authority and Status – Sociology

The formal organisation of an association is constituted of norms and statuses. “The norms are attached to the statuses and not to the persons who occupy them. The norms involve rights, duties, obligations, responsibilities, privileges as they are attached to particular statuses. The right to exer­cise authority is now attached to certain statuses.

This right receives the support of all those who belong to the association and who conform to its norms. The exercise of authority, however, is not only a right but also a duty:-Robert Bierstedt

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Authority is never exercised except in a status relationship. Sometimes a person without hav­ing an appropriate status may try to influence or control the action of another. In this case, what actually influences is the leadership of the person and not his authority.

Authority does not make its appearance in the informal organisation. It is completely a function of the formal organisation of an association. Still the personal factors do enter into status relationships.

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