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03 September 2011 @ 06:40 pm
OWE NO!  
It's 6:14pm and we're running late for Therese's party. Oh well, I still need to write my entry for this week!

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We've been discussing about the Structuration Theory this past few days, and the concept of power has been included in our lesson. One particular type of power has caught my attention, and it is referent power. This one is define to be the kind of power that could induce compliance through previously established relationships. When I first heard about this, the idea that instantly came to mind was that of 'utang na loob'.

In the context of Filipino tradition, utang na loob refers to that sense of appreciation a person feels towards another because of previously granted help or favor. It could either be financially or in other ways such as acquiring a job or getting help in life-threatening situations. In my opinion, this kind of power is the most delicate one since it deals with personal human relationships. It's also the kind of power that couldn't be easily overlooked, since a person owes the another, probably even his life. Let's face it, we Filipnos tend to give utmost importance to this utang na loob because it's already natural in our culture. 

Yes, this kind of power could come in handy, especially for those people with wide connections since they're the ones who usually have the capability to immediately render help. But it's also dangerous sometimes, when these people make use of their power to have the individuals who owe them do things that are against their principles. It's really hard to say no to a person who lend you money when your mother needed an operation to save her life, right? 

In our society today where everyone's striving hard to succeed in life, it's crucial that we all exercise our rights and powers effectively. But we just have to make sure that we don't step on other people along the way. 


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Allison LeeAllison Lee on September 3rd, 2011 12:18 pm (UTC)
utang na loob or referent power may come in handy especially when we are the one who was given this power. since like what you said this power touches on personal human relationships. this power must not be abused since people, especially in the Philippines, treasure their relationships with one another.
with great power comes great responsibility. :)
Rico OaRico Oa on September 6th, 2011 11:04 am (UTC)
Not stepping on other people along the way ? With desperate times comes desperate measures. Haha. Kidding aside, there are times that it will be difficult for you to turn down an offer in exchange of doing something that is against your own principles. If it will be for the better then you ought to do it, it's just a matter of weighing out the Pros and Cons of the situation. I like your blog, because you defined for me the meaning of that referent power. Lately, I've been slow in picking up lessons. Haha.
Lia Felicianolialialiaf on September 7th, 2011 04:38 pm (UTC)
Our discussions on Structuration Theory certainly made us think about these things. Who knew that the Pinoys' "utang na loob" is actually formally called "referent power", right? This kind of power is obviously visible in our country today, especially with politics and consumerism. Hopefully, our knew knowledge will give us the initiative to make good and fitting decisions when we are put into situations when we can use this kind of power. :)