Pub. date: 2011 | Online Pub. Date: October 04, 2011 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412994163 | Print ISBN: 9781412959636 | Online ISBN: 9781412994163 | Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Most basically, charisma refers to a rare trait found in certain humans that combines unusual charm and an ascribed “magnetic” quality of personality and/or appearance. Deriving from the Greek word (chárisma), it includes the meaning of “gift” or “divine favor,” in particular with reference to innate and sophisticated personal communication and persuasiveness. Charisma as a concept has been employed in several contexts, as a religious concept, a sociological concept, or a psychological concept, and also in journalistic and common language usage. Although impossible to operationalize accurately, charisma is often used to describe, or rather to label, a personality trait that includes the seemingly “supernatural” ability of some rare persons to lead, charm, persuade, and inspire others due to their “magnetic,” alluring quality, without using power or threat. It refers to an ascribed quality, not to be achieved purposefully, in certain people who draw the attention and admiration (but also hatred ...