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For Foucault (1969), ‘power relationships are present in all aspects of society. They are not localized in the relations between the state, and its citizens, or on the frontiers between classes’.All social actions involve power relationships whether it may be between employer and employee or between husband and wife (in patriarchal society).
The focal point of the study of political institutions is power and its uses.
Although we think of the concept of power as being associated particularly with politics or so as to say political science, but it is, in fact, exists in all types of social relationships.
According to Steven Lukes (2005), power has three dimensions or faces: (1) decision-making, (2) non-decision-making, and (3) shaping desires.
For some social theorists, especially those linked to postmodernism, the very notion of large-scale macro structures of power has come under serious attack.
It plays a part in family (husband and wife) and school (teacher and the taught) relationship also.
Thus, for Weber, power is the chance of a man or a number of men to realize their own will in a communal action even against the resistance of others who are participating in the action.
According to Max Weber (1947), power is ‘the probability that one actor within a social relationship will be in a position to carry out his own will despite resistance, regardless of the basis on which this probability rests’.
He further writes, positions of power can ’emerge from social relations in drawing room as well as in the market, from the rostrum of lecture hall as well as the command post of a regiment, from an erotic or charitable relationship as well as from scholarly discussion or athletics’.
It is concerned with the regulation, surveillance and government.
Disciplinary power is exercised in prison, schools and places of work.