Social Empowerment

Social powerlessness is the feeling of being treated unfairly, unequally, or unjustly by society in general.

Identifying feelings of social powerlessness:

  1. Are you left out of the major decision-making that effects your life and job?
  2. Are you treated unjustly by society?
  3. Do others with the same abilities and standing in life receive more resources necessary for life and success than you?
  4. Do you feel like you do not matter to society in general?
  5. Do you feel that your environment hinders you from being successful?

The more "yes" answers, the greater the sense of social powerlessness.


Feeling of social powerlessness increases the more a person identifies with a group that has a high sense of social powerlessness.

People can be empowered by identifying with groups that have more power to control their lives.

Social powerlessness exists when a person cannot participate in decisions that effect their lives, when they are not treated fairly or justly, when people do not have access to the necessary resources for life, and when they do not feel that they are a significant participant in society.

We can be socially empowered, or help others be socially empowered by addressing the following:

  1. People feel empowered socially when they can participate in decision-making that controls their lives.
  2. People feel empowered when they are treated fairly and justly regardless of social circumstances.
  3. People feel empowered when they have equal or equitable access to benefits, rewards, and resources.
  4. People feel empowered when they feel significant to their social group and society at large.

Another key to social empowerment is to understand that a person does not have to be hindered by their social standing. Success stories abound that tell how people have overcome incredible social obstacles to become successful. Membership in any social group is not a constraint that cannot be overcome.

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