I. For purposes of analysis, news stories and other forms of communication can be divided into a number of elements. They include:
II. The characterizations can be considered forms of action that seek to enhance, defend or attack (that is credit or discredit) people, ideas, experiences, events, institutions, places and objects.
III. These efforts to credit or discredit can include a number of different kinds of claims about people (and other things), including:
IV. Efforts to claim that oneself or someone else is moral or immoral, namely number 1 above, can involve any of a number of more specific claims, including:
V. These efforts to credit and discredit , described in II-IV above, can also be efforts to engage in other kinds of action. They can be efforts to:
VI. All of these forms of action may be efforts to:
As noted elsewhere, the effort to exert power (or the action of being subordinate) actually has two aspects, which need to be distinguished. In one, player A puts him or herself in a dominant position toward B, such that others see him as dominant. He puts B in the down position. Examples of this are put-downs; aggressive questioning that puts B on the defensive; and situations in which B treats A as more powerful and important than himself. In these situations, A seems to grow in symbolic size and B seems to shrink.
This needs to be distinguished from situations in which people exert power by getting others to do what they want, in ways that dont involve an obvious display of weakness on the part of the subordinate one.
For example, people who appear to have no power in a relationship may actually have the ability to influence the other parties to the relationship and control their behavior. At the other extreme, people who are aggressively dominant and who elicit expressions of weakness, defensiveness and submissive behavior from others, may, in fact, fail to get those others to do what they want in other ways.
It should also be noted that we can exert power over, be subordinate, harm or help, oppose or cooperate with, ourselves, as well, when we divide up, as it were, and one part of us acts toward another part. This is all the more true since we harbor within us images of various aspects of self and significant others from childhood, and we constantly interact with the society around us in terms of the society inside our own personalities.