What is authority?

The word authority came to us from the German language,and in German from Latin. But the German "Autorität" and the Latin "auctoritas" are literally translated as "power, influence". About what is authority in general and in a narrow concept, and will go further.

What is authority: the basic meaning of the word

The term "authority" in the general sense meansinfluence, significance of someone and power based on this significance. In a narrow sense, authority is understood as the mental influence of a person, which encourages others to respect him. The authority is recognized not only by the superior and recognized authority (position, status, etc.), but also by outstanding wisdom, knowledge, skills or virtue.

Who can have authority

In order to better understand what authority is,it should be remembered that true authority is never based on violent influence on others. The importance of the skills, knowledge, achievements of the bearer of authority for society as a whole (or for a particular sphere of social life) is recognized exclusively voluntarily, without real or symbolic coercion. A true authority can greatly influence the thoughts and attitudes of people, considerably and even radically change these attitudes, but only if people themselves so desire.

Authority is not earned by intimidation,blackmail, repression, and the like, not by lawful and criminal means. That is why the main condition for the influence of authority is legitimacy (legality, legitimacy). So, born in Russia in the 90s, the notion of authority as the head of a bandit grouping is not correct and is more slangy. The present authority, according to research of scientists, is generated by the following factors:

  1. Traditions (for example, the authority of the church).
  2. The law.
  3. Charisma of personality.

To find out more about what authority is and how it is earned, you can by reading an article on our website How to become an authority.

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