Psychology, 1981

The soft mental version of the Marxist revolution.

Historically-speaking, the endowment or bestowal of power was legal terminology (like, for example, “enumeration”), and became entwined with the Civil Rights era of the early-1960s. Interest seems to have increase around the time of Foucault’s death, with publications by Julian Rappaport such as “In praise of paradox: A social policy of empowerment over prevention” (1981) and “Studies in empowerment: Introduction to the issue. “Prevention in Human Services” (1984), followed others such as “Women and the Politics of Empowerment (Women in the Political Economy)” (Ann Bookman, Sandra Morgen, 1988).

To illustrate just how extreme things have really become, in “Teaching for Diversity and Social Justice: A Sourcebook” (1997, an absolutely epic read in itself), the editors give this extraordinary definition:

“When target group members refuse to accept the dominant ideology and their subordinate status and take actions to redistribute social power more equitably.”