Friday, January 14, 2011
How Was The All-consuming Self Created?
I kind of feel like I'm writing the essay "What I did when I was out of school during the snow days." What did I do? Well for one thing I watched the video "The Century of the Self"
The Century of the Self is a British television documentary film that focuses its attention on Sigmund Freud's family, especially his daughter and nephew, who exerted a surprising amount of influence on the way corporations and governments throughout the 20th century have thought about, and dealt with, people.
I felt that this was a very interesting documentary but the utterance of one word would keep me from using it in class to help them understand how "needs" are actually manufactured wants.
The section about convincing generations of women to smoke was very interesting but I was already aware of the story.
For those not familiar with the story, Bernays arranged for New York City debutantes to march in that year's Easter Day Parade, defiantly smoking cigarettes as a statement of rebellion against the norms of a male-dominated society. Publicity photos of these beautiful fashion models smoking "Torches of Liberty" were sent to various media outlets and appeared worldwide. As a result, the taboo was dissolved and many women were led to associate the act of smoking with female liberation.
Before this time, it was considered unfeminine and inappropriate for women to smoke; besides the occasional prostitute, virtually no women participated in the act of smoking publicly.
For his work, Bernays was paid a tidy sum by George Washington Hill, president of the American Tobacco Company.
I would recommend you set aside an hour to watch this video, that is of course if you aren't busy watching American Idol while you are wearing you Silly Banz.