Critical Perspectives

Samantha Butler

A study into the possibility that TV, Film and social media are removing individuality by influencing our opinions to conform to a cultural ideal of a Utopian society and asks if it really matters.

Chapter 1 – Existing Theories and Ideas  Explain Postmodernism and modernism broadly before explaining Hyper-reality (Jean Baudrillard), what is meant by a Utopia and the idea of individual realities.

Introduce psychological theories focused on the susceptibility of the human mind to conditioning and its instinct to conform to a unit/ group for survival. But also the minds ability to perceive and understand objectionably this process.

Chapter 2 – TV, Film and Social Media Reference  Introduce and deconstruct examples of manipulative media (27 Dresses, Cinderella, Facebook, Ugly Betty, Glee and X-Factor). Give examples of what other people say about these types of media. Link it to the Hyper-reality and Utopian ideas and also the psychological instinct to be a group.

Introduce and deconstruct examples of post-modern media (The Truman Show, Blue Velvet, Peep Show, Inception, Community, Wall-E and Wikipedia). Link this to postmodernism and the impossibility of utopia and the psychological idea that the mind is able to comprehend itself.

Chapter 3 – Does it matter?  Explore both parallels of this question. Is it the natural future to live in a hyper-real world constructed around Utopian ideals and allow for de-individualisation (Wall-E: “Blue is the new Red”) or should we remain able to step out into a reality that is ‘real’ and form individually at the risk of loss of connection to the rest of humanity.

Conclusion  A hyper-real world isn’t the perhaps the future but the present with only a few able to duck out of it, if only to observe, howe ver, this escape is only brief as they are sucked back it to their own reality.

If it’s our own choice which world we live in, doesn’t that make us individual after all?

Is what we watch influencing our reality to conform to Utopian ideals?

In post-modern theory, each individual lives within their own reality formed by the experiences and influences their own personal life but how much of an effect is media having on those realities and is it influencing them to conform to certain cultural ideals for generating consumerism and control over the masses.

What are the consequences of this?
Pros:  Counties are able to stay wealthy via consumerism by ensuring that money circulates back into the system.  People are encouraged to follow set morals which enforce law and order.  It feeds the human instinct to socialise and connect to a strong ‘family’. Cons:  Individuality is diminished and given boundaries (What type of movies do you like?).  If someone doesn’t conform to the Utopian Ideals they are socially segregated. (Homosexual/Foreign/Race) and (Doesn’t watch TV, Doesn’t have Facebook, Hasn’t seen ‘that’ film)

What is the alternative?

It’s possible that its wheels have already long been set in motion but with understanding there is the ability to step of and understand long enough to become an individual. The mind may be easily manipulated but it’s able to comprehend itself objectively and understand how it’s being affected and adjust.

27 Dresses, Cinderella, Facebook, Ugly Betty, Glee and X-Factor

These enforce ideals of the Utopian society. The ideals created are to grow-up, get married and have kids, be rich and successful, have the latest gadgets to be popular, be beautiful, that personal drama makes you interesting, being able to sing is important and to advertise yourself.

The Truman Show, Blue Velvet, Peep Show, Inception, Community, Wall-E and Wikipedia

These draw an individual out into an observation. They deconstruct the world and highlight the absurdity of it, except Wikipedia which allows information to be shared and edited by the words of many meaning information that is simultaneously unreliable and more reliable (because they’re many voices and therefore, unbiased).

27 Dresses - Inception -

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