So last time we had a brief discussion on general Power Structures so without going too far back into history let’s start our journey in the 19th Century. During this era there was many collapses of empires including the Holy Roman and Mughal Empires.
During this era the rise and influence of the British and American empires were in expansion. After the topple of the French Empire the British Empire became the world leading power, controlling one quarter of the world’s population and one fifth of the total land in the world.
So as this neo liberalist vision of the Anglo American Empire started to pick up momentum and our world started to change. Wars and occupations were waged and the British Empire was so big that the sun never set on it. Now to fast forward to the 20th century and the world was facing a world war in the wake of the new century.
One of the names that popped up in the lecture this week was Edward Bernays,
so I decided to do some more reading into whom he was. I also watched the documentary ‘Century of the self” by Adam Curtis, which gave me a visual insight into the world of Bernays. At the wake of the war The USA send Edward Bernays a master mind in propaganda to Austria to win the minds and hearts of the Austrian people and manipulate them into believing the story presented to them. Bernays had applied his uncle, Sigmund Freud’s
ideas. Freud had beliefs that the man should never be equal to one another and the mass needs to be controlled otherwise they will release the repressed animal state we once evolved from.
After WW1 and when Bernays got back to the states he commented that, “I decided that if you could use propaganda for war, you could certainly use if for peace” the term propaganda was associated with the Germen Nazi party and was given negative press. So Bernays decided that he will call this the “Counsel on Public Relations” He set up office in New York and the rest is history.
After finding out about this manipulation of the masses that was giving so much power to its executer, i decided to do further reading into this area and came across some interesting perspectives of the world.
agrees with Marxism and argues marketing is also an opiate. The new world order introduced a free market capitalist economic society, where greed has become the main motive of life. this greed fuels the markets growth.
Debord states In his book from 1967 Society Of the Spectacle “The spectacle is a permanent opium war which aims to make people identify goods with commodities and satisfaction with survival that increases according to its own laws. But if consumable survival is something which must always increase, this is because it continues to contain privation. If there is nothing beyond increasing survival, if there is no point where it might stop growing, this is not because it is beyond privation, but because it is enriched privation”.
So this statement tells us that the human is constantly striving to to fulfil desires and the survival of the fittest has become the survival of the bourgeoisie. Because they own the means and relations of production this creates a relationship with the consumer through supply and demand and this is how the power and authority is exerted over the masses. so we want what they have and produce. This dominance over the masses has made to believe that these materials are a necessity in our survival in a dog eat dog capitalist society.
I have learnt a lot over the last few days. Ideas are blooming. From my research i have found out that the world is not what we think it is and influence comes from the very top of societies. Keep your eyes open for the next blog on Power.
- The power of PR (richardstacy.com)
- It Takes a Nation of Billions – Adam Curtis’ The Century Of The Self (wfmu.org)
- Torches of freedom (virtuallinguist.typepad.com)
- Power Moving On… (prophecy-media.com)
- Britain’s Empire: Resistance, Repression and Revolt by Richard Gott – review (guardian.co.uk)
So after some thought about his week’s task I have come to the point where I have to come up with idea. I am a very dreamy thinker, i think ideas through like a journey and step by step visualise how a project of the nature could unfold. If any week spots arise it gets nipped at the bud. So in affect an elimination process has been taking place over the past few days.
was very, very enlightening and helped me get closure of other ideas and views I have had on the world. It reinforced a lot of what I already know to be true. The world is a facade we are literally a huge herd of sheep and our shepherds for this huge vogue of life are a few people, “The 1%”
But I didn’t want to do something that is on everyone’s minds at the moment. I had ideas of going down to London to meet with a few Occupy London organisers, that I had met whilst in London last a few weeks back. But I wanted to bring my idea down to a personal level.
So the ideas I had was times were either I exerted power or when I was the person the power was exerted on. I can have bold ideas and sometimes I can exert my views on other people. Some people listen to me some people don’t. So the power lies with you, but it’s how much I can persuade you to follow my views.
After in depth research on milgram burneys… I found persuasion and pressure was used to make people do things which they though were involuntary however this was there driving force.
In sociological studies it is concluded that peer pressure exists as in group individuals want to gain prestige from higher people in the group. This comes from our desire to fit in and especially amongst teenagers who are in to experimentation. However peer pressure can came at any time in your life, even preschool children.
Identity shift effect reveals we shift our identities to avoid rejection from our peers and to conform to group standards. When conforming to these pressures an internal conflict occurs within the individual. A feeling of guilt occurs because their personal values are being repressed. So the identity shift occurs when the individual tries to minimise this conflict and becomes part of the in group by adopting their norms and values.
states that from a young age we live vicariously (Also see The link in the next paragraph) through our parents. There after we imitate the actions of peers our new ‘role models’ and during this process we adopt their value system. When peer pressure does occur individuals tend to imitate first and ask questions later. So in conclusion adults are subject to peer pressure also. In my piece I wanted to incorporate all these examples showing just how one person can be powerful at pressurising. To conclude what Bandura’s is saying, simple conversation can not be effective in altering behaviour. There is a reciprocal interaction between cognitive behavioural/environmental factors, and the relations we have with others. We observe the action of others through modelling and use this as a guide for action in later occasion. However learning through classical conditioning (trail and error) one can perform behaviours he or she would not commonly display.
A consequence of vicarious reinforcement is adopting the value system of negative role models. The theory of de individuation explains why one engages in uncivilised behaviours around their peers. Zimbardo
points out that when in a group, people conform to de individuated behaviour. It means people act in a way that is uncharacteristic of themselves and commit acts as part of a group, in this sense they feel less responsible for their own behaviour. Amongst our peers our sense of individual socialised identity is lost. spliting the guilt. So doing something negative, isn’t so negative any more.
Drugs are something that is associated with peer pressure. First of all form a young age during school peer pressure was always depicted as being negative and evil. But like Berney’s I believe that influence does work and sometime if you feel something is right and you can get someone to also experience the same benefits. It should be justified. Even if it’s negative? So people will imitate their peers, knowing that they will be rewarded with prestige. Our friends and family are the most credible sources of information to us even if they have no evidence to prove it.
More development next time….
- Dealing With Preschool Peer Pressure (pagesla.wordpress.com)
- Social Learning Theory & Cognition (diaryofapsychmajor.wordpress.com)
- Bandur’a last hurrah: an integrated social-psychological theory of mass communication with a cognitive twist (matei.org)
- 17-Year-Old Uses Peer Pressure To Influence Youth To Live Naturally High (prweb.com)
- Does peer pressure affect basketball performance (wiki.answers.com)
- How Teens learn best? is mine credible or not? (edgarallanpoetential.wordpress.com)