1 Effective Interactions | Supremacist Power and Liberatory Power
2 Interaction Patterns | Patterns of Domination and Patterns of Resistance
3 Transmission of Affect | Life-affirming and Life-draining Affects
4 The Sources of Power Relations | Developmental Stages and Life Forms
5 Powerless and Powerful Identities | Hegemony and Supreme Power
6 Decision and Choice | The Efficient Unconscious and the Effort of Intention
7 The Social Aspects of Choice | Participation in Decision Making
8 Supreme Choice | Mastery Over Inner Experience
9 Rites of Passage | Self Formation in Liminal Space
10 Theater as Interaction and Identity Creation | High Status and Low Status Characters
11 The Purpose of Play | Play As Evolution
12 The Structure of Games | Ordering Interactions
13 The Party Game | Sign Reading
14 The Stand, Sit, Kneel Game | Deconstruction
15 The Tongue Twister Game | Reconstruction
16 The Meisner Game | Reconstruction
17 The Yes, But/Yes, And Game | Sign Reading, Deconstruction
18 The Circle Game | Reconstruction
19 The Lane Game | Reconstruction
20 The Body Language Game | Sign Reading
21 The Switching Game | Reconstruction
22 The Status Master Game | Sign Reading, Deconstruction, Reconstruction
23 The Scene Study Game | Deconstruction
24 The Character Study Game | Reconstruction
All social relations are laden with power. Getting out from under dominant power relationships and mastering power dynamics is perhaps the most essential skill for change agents across all sectors seeking to ignite positive change in the world.
This concise action manual explores major concepts of power, with a focus on the dynamics of domination and liberation, and presents methods for shifting power relations and enacting freedom. The Power Manual:
Power is negotiated in interactions. https://nonprofitquarterly.org/effective-interactions-supremacist-power-and-liberatory-power/
Effective interactors know how to cross thresholds of difference. One can deepen the practice of effective interactions by understanding and identifying key interaction patterns of domination and liberation. https://nonprofitquarterly.org/interaction-patterns-patterns-of-domination-and-patterns-of-resistance/
Affect is a major site of struggle. Resistance is always a choice. Resistance begins with the ability to recognize, engage, and redirect affect. This ability is a core source of power. It is an ability that can be learned. https://nonprofitquarterly.org/transmission-of-affect-life-affirming-and-life-draining-affects/
An iHeart radio show heard in 135 countries
A conversation with longtime friend Gibran Rivera
A video interview by NPQ's Editor-in-Chief Ruth McCambridge
"Cyndi Suarez has written a book for our time. The social movements of our day have a conflicted relationship with power, endlessly deconstructing its evils while actively yearning for it. We forget that in any conflict the tendency is to become the mirror image of your opponent. There is great confusion between the struggle for power and the quest for liberation. Cyndi has written a comprehensive operations manual for living into the tensions of these distinctions and quite literally enacting our way to freedom."
— Gibran Rivera, Master Facilitator
"This book is masterful. In The Power Manual, Cyndi Suarez refuses to accept the silos by which we organize our thinking and fields of knowledge. The result is an examination of power that honors the fullness of who we are as individual human beings and as social creatures. Moving across the political, spiritual, psychological, and gender self, she helps us understand power across our lived experience. The Power Manual is the handbook every person who considers themselves working to bring about a more just and compassionate world should read and carry with them throughout their journey."
— Ceasar McDowell, Professor of the Practice of Civic Design, MIT
"Think you know all about power? Think again! Drawing from a wide range of disciplines, Suarez gives practical guidance for cultivating individual consciousness and building social power. She reminds us that 'the state of being of the social change agent is the most powerful force for change. We can fight for freedom, or we can enact freedom.'"
— Cynthia Silva Parker, Senior Associate, Interaction Institute for Social Change
"Most discussions of power explore the intellectual, political and economic dynamics that generate imbalances in our society. Perhaps that's why power can seem so immutable: Our efforts to think or transact our way into a social reordering seem to result in little more than incremental change. In her book, The Power Manual, Cyndi Suarez brilliantly illuminates what's missing. To exercise and understand power is an embodied, creative, spiritual and at times even playful act."
— Deborah Frieze, Author, Walk Out Walk On and Founding President, Boston Impact Initiative
"We need to get comfortable talking about and wielding power. In this book, Cyndi Suarez does a great job of sharing theories about power — academic, literary, and spiritual. There are also several unique practical games to build people's capacity to understand and leverage power, which I'm looking forward to trying out."
— Susan Misra, Co-Director, Management Assistance Group
"Cyndi Suarez draws insights from a diverse array of intellectual and spiritual traditions and her own experience as a social change practitioner to show that the power for social change is already within us. But we must exercise it in a way that shifts from dominating power over to a liberating power with. The Power Manual is an accessible yet deep exploration into the complexity of power, as well as guide to group exercises for unleashing our collective power."
— Penn Loh, Senior Lecturer and Director of Community Practice, Tufts University