Does the phenomenological paradigm omit the examination of the problem of power? Frequently formulated criticisms of phenomenological thought underline that it would be characterized by oblivion of power. The following line of argument will demonstrate that phenomenology and phenomenologically oriented sociology do have the theoretical potential to open up a critical perspective as well as to analyze phenomena of power. The focus will be on the basic question on how the phenomenological perspective can be used to investigate power structures, social inequality, justice, violence, subjective and intersubjective experiences of alienation and suffering. In this sense some reflections will be presented on how phenomenological description is used as critical diagnosis. The paper deals on the one hand with criticism of the phenomenological paradigm of an alleged oblivion of power, and on the other hand it reflects upon the this paradigm’spotential of with respect to a formulation of social critique.