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The Century of Self - Essay Example

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Summary
The Century of the Self is a documentary that illustrates how governments and corporations in power have continuously controlled masses using Sigmund Freud’s theories. It widely portrays how human behaviour, as influenced by both the conscious and the unconscious mind, can…
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The Century of Self
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The Century of Self

These perspectives include conflict theory, structural-functionalist theory and symbolic interaction theory (Brinkerhoff, Ortega & Weitz 2013).
In the first part, the documentary features Edward Bernays, a very influential contributor in the field of public relations (Curtis 2005). He uses Freuds’s ideological motivation for commercial gain and influence to control the masses. The second part focuses on how politicians pass their agenda by manipulating the masses using psychoanalytic techniques. In the third part, Freud’s ideas in are radically challenged by a section of psychotherapists who were inspired by Wilhelm Reich. Finally, part four gives details on how both British and American politicians target people’s desires to regain control and power.
Conflict theory is a Marxist based theory that was developed by Karl Marx (1818-1883). It relies on the assumption that society constitutes political and social inequalities of different groups. All these groups have a direct or indirect influence on political systems (Brinkerhoff, Ortega & Weitz 2013). Marx focuses on class conflict and believes that society constitutes two categories of people; the elite and the working class. The elite are wealthy and powerful and have access and control over resources (Brinkerhoff, Ortega & Weitz 2013). The working class, on the other hand, are powerless people whose hard work benefits the capitalist class.
The theory further explains that that there is constant competition between groups based on race, religion, gender and social classes among others. These groups compete for access to power and economic resources (Brinkerhoff, Ortega & Weitz 2013). Given that the elite always want to rule, they enslave the working class to maintain power. They also create the rules for opportunity and success and monopolize authority, power and privilege to their advantage (NewWorldEncyclopedia 2013).
According to conflict theory, social problems ... Read More
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