NATURE AND USES OF INFLUENCE
Political sociology deals with political power, its influence and distribution. A person in modem society is resourceful to the extent he influences the behaviour of other persons. Thus power is judged by the exercise of influence. Influence is a person's capacity to effect the behaviour of others. This is not only in keeping with their choice but mostly, even against it. Defining the nature of influence Harold De Lasswell and Abraham Kaplan point out, 'The weight of influence is the degree to which policies are affected; the domain of influence, the persons whose policies are affected; the scope of influence; the values implicated in the policies'. Thus the weight of the influence is judged by the amount of change in the position of the actor influenced. Sometimes the compliance on the part of the influence is very high. In such situations, the power holder requires little effort to exercise influence.
On the other hand in other instances the compliance may be very low requiring force to impose power. This is known as coercive influence. Generally, political power has been termed as coercive influence. It is the use of threats or sanctions to influence others. These threats may be accompanied y possibilities of injuries and rewards. While penalties or punishments are negative sanctions to power, rewards are positive sanctions.
Thus power may be defined as the capacity to affect other's behaviour by the user or the threat of the use of negative or positive sanctions.
Power, is basically relational, it is not a personal property. Power is exercised only in relation to others. It has been defined as the capacity to affect other's behaviour. Political power is essentially relational. It presupposes social relation between the power holder and the power addressee. The type of social order is that in which power holder d the power addressee. The type of social order is it in which power relation exists, besides the power sis, the power sanctions the reaction of the power addressee etc. For example, these may be found to differ essentially in rural and urban societies. Political power is the power which operates within the periphery of the state and its institutions. It is based on the power of the state. However, the essential nature of the power of the state is not different from power found at any level of society. Therefore, power is judged in the perspective of social variables. Political power is conditioned by the social process. It changes according to the variations in the nature and working of the social.