Wow! While this is very obvious in hindsight, I'd never thought about it this way before.
A writer (in the culturally-dominant Western population) might say a story is: a protagonist with a problem acts to solve that problem and either succeeds or fails. Said problem could be: man against man, man against nature, or man against self.
The idea that the protagonist has power over his/her life is definitely part of this culturally-dominant paradigm.
In fact, a story could be something, anything else.
What do you, think a story is?