Overall authority is the legitimate relation of domination and
subjection. Dahrendorf uses authority as legitimate power.
Dahrendorf recognizes authority has existed in all societies and
goes into detail about it:-
Authority relations are always relations of super- and
Where there are authority relations, the superordinate element
is socially expected to control by orders, commands, and
prohibitions the subordinate element
Expectations attach to relatively permanent social positions
rather than to the character of individuals. This is why there are
Authority is only possible over people who are within the
spheres of control
Since authority is legitimate, noncompliance can be sanctioned.
This is the function of the legal system .
“Authority relations exist wherever there are people whose
actions are subject to legitimate and sanctioned prescriptions that
originate outside of them but within social structure.”