The prototype and its image
Why is the image not similar to its prototype? How does the process of alienating an entity from the one on the screen occur? Why is one particular person on the screen causing a mass excitement, and the other - not even at all? In 1943, for example, American radio star Kat Smith called on listeners to purchase military bonds and achieved incredible success. Millions of women instantly identified themselves with an image that was dictated by the voice that sounded from the receivers and which simultaneously grew out of the inner world of each radio listener.A wealthy actress who has no family was considered a modest and thrifty mistress, a mother alarmed by the danger that threatens her children. So, did the creators of the program consciously seek such a hoax? Nothing like this. It arose spontaneously, as a result of the collective fallacy of listeners. The case of Cat Smith, with her radio marathon, can be fully explained only by the real situation that prevailed in the United States on the eve of the military crisis, when millions of troubled people sought salvation in the symbols of the family, the home, a stable home life.
Where in man is the attraction to personified ideas, message, image? Why, a man himself, outside of others, has a very vague idea of what he is. Pavel looks at Peter as if in a mirror. This is the idea of Marx. Outside of a society like himself, a man does not even suspect that he is handsome, intelligent, talented. He learns about all this through the others, because the ugly, the unintelligent, the untalented live side by side. Starting from them, he creates an image of himself. And others too.
Identification is a complex mechanism. It shows the duality of feelings. The boy, for example, loves his father, wants to be like him in everything, but in the depths of his psyche nest and hostility to the parent nest. After all, the boy is tender about his mother and would like to eliminate his opponent. However, one should not think that one can identify oneself only with a loved one. For example, a girl is completely absorbed by her father, but she understands that the father loves the mother, and therefore tries to be like her. A girl can, say, even think of herself some kind of flaw, will limp or cough. And the meaning? In attracting the attention of his father.
Identification is closely related to the phenomenon of personification (the so-called process of comprehending one's self in the process of socialization and searching for a sample).
At a time of rapid television development, American audiences loved the cycle of animated films, the main character of which was Mickey Mouse. At the beginning of this fantastic story, the gray mouse was always unlucky. There were incredible dangers everywhere. But one day, quite by accident, Mickey tasted some kind of medicine that gives the person who eats it an extraordinary strength. Since then everything has changed. Having gained power, he became a faithful defender of all persecuted and disadvantaged. Seeing from a height of heaven some disaster, Mickey, like a meteor, attacked the villains and saved the victims in the most seemingly hopeless situations.
Of course, in this series, played a simple set of identical situations: crafty cats, bloodthirsty wolves get what they deserve whenever they intend to offend mice or sheep. In each program, the action was sharp because of the same method - the attackers were extremely close to the goal, but the ubiquitous Mouse ... However, despite the stereotypes of images and stories, viewers could not tear themselves away from the spectacle.
Why are viewers with such infantilism (childish immediacy) immersed in a fantastic spectacle? Why are they so trusting, so immensely sympathize with their favorite characters? How can one explain that pictures of just revenge, deserved retribution deliver an acute sense of excitement and joy to the audience? What, generally speaking, makes viewers worry about the persecuted and gloatingly triumph over the victory over the punished oppressor? For the study of the plot of the well-known animated series, the psychoanalyst Fromm undertook.
Of course, the popularity of the cartoon series, the contradictory perception of the spectacle (the bizarre tangle of sympathy and hatred of the audience), the need for a continuous continuation of the cycle could also be explained: an ordinary individual, faced with harsh reality and experiencing psychological stress, seeks in the popular culture an illusory the embodiment of their motives. Feeling like a grain of sand, a person tends to dissolve in the image of Mickey, to feel, at least in the imagination, all-powerful and successful. At the same time, he yearns for revenge, i.e. massacre of those who are jealous of whom they consider "lucky". Thus, a person gets rid of painful stresses either by fictitious incarnation of his drives (dreams), or by an aggressive act (fanaticism).
However, in this interpretation of mass culture there are many discrepancies, if only because the whole analysis, as a matter of fact, boils down here to the registration of various manifestations of escapism (flight from life). The monotonous instruction of the researcher that in cultural life it is possible to detect hallucinatory effects and scenes of villainy does not allow to reveal the content of the spectacle more specifically, in detail. Then Fromm takes the next step. He pays attention to all sorts of personifications, generated by psychological mechanisms, in particular, the individual's need for identification. It's about the fact that a person perceives the world as a stream of original samples, constantly correlates with other people, with their individual properties, appearance, character. The individual, in fact, is formed, identifying himself with a concrete image, a character, real or fictitious.
Psychoanalysts have long come across this phenomenon. They stressed that human behavior is largely due to the way in which he assesses his social roles. It turned out that many representatives of the middle strata of the population are inclined in their own estimation to rank themselves among the more affluent people and, accordingly, to follow other standards of thoughts and actions. In other words, it turned out that human behavior is regulated not only by its inherent social roles, but also by the way that he himself "determines" yourself. For example, it is in vain to seek in the actions of a modest concierge the features of the way of life that is inherent in people of her profession, if she herself identifies herself mentally (identifies) with someone who has unexpected motives, unusual value orientations.
Manipulative propaganda is literally obsessed with the mania of personification. It offers the audience numerous options that allow them to identify themselves with the images of successful people, supermen, outsiders, avengers. In 1977, a spectacular blonde appeared on the screen of American television, combed in the latest fashion and sprinkled from head to foot with gold sequins. "My name is Mummy Liz". The TV beauty called everyone who watches the transfer at this moment, buy a luxury car of a new firm "Tvantis Century car car company". On the air, a cry was thrown: "Hurry, or else you will be overtaken!" The sooner you invest in this reliable business, the better! Within a few months, the firm received a thousand applications with the necessary advance. But soon a scandal broke out. It turned out that such a company in nature does not exist, it invented scam-recidivist, dressed as a blonde on the screen.
In this case, interest is not a fact of a blown advertisement, but a specific one, "successfully guessed" the face of personification. The perpetrator convinced the audience in the real presence of the supercar not simply because viewers generally tend to be flattered by blondes. As advertising, he chose a certain image - a spectacular stereotype of "blonde", an image of "blurred attractiveness" in which one can see both the secretary, the representative of the company, and the companion of life at the same time (note, not the image of a man, a business man)
The mechanism of personification operates in a sophisticated way. It relies not only on psychological laws, but also on certain socio-cultural features. European viewers, for example, are accustomed to the cartoon character Donald Duck. But here the television series about the duckling was shown in one African country, and there was an unforeseen thing: viewers began throwing various objects on the screen, expressing their indignation. The audience did not accept personification, finding in it something awkward and even insulting.
Viewers can believe in the reality of a fictional character, if it does not destroy the effect of personification. That's why TV characters are so popular all over the world. Spectators get used to them and perceive them as concrete people. American President Kennedy saw in the mechanism of personification a very effective way of ideological influence on the masses. As an intelligent and calculating politician, he was the first to advertise Y. Fleming, saying that this is his favorite writer. As a result, the main character of the work of Fleming, James Bond turned into a fashionable character, designed to take the philistine from a state of apathy and disbelief.
In the process of socialization, a person correlates not only with specific roles, but also with a special kind of personified ideas that are consonant with his own personal orientations. It can be, for example, literary heroes, real historical figures, & conditional social-psychological or cultural-historical types ("romantic", "business man", "strong personality", etc.). Such ideal figurative structures, the unfolding of which is associated with intensive work of imagination, have a pronounced value significance for the individual.
Any person can be disrupted spiritual auto-interpretation and replacement of its new, fictitious. The individual, roughly speaking, ceases to understand who he is and tries to get out of the impasse by using a semi-fantastic orientation on the image that came from the screen. A teenager who imitates Stirlitz, a student who unexpectedly embodied herself in a vamp-beauty, a vagabond who imagined himself to be a secular dandy ... The finished standards often satisfy the psychological demands of people.
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