Power: Research/Development

Power

After some thought I first thought I would focus on how we as a collective society are becoming individualised by governmental control and the media machine, thus losing our ‘power’ so to speak. As individuals our voice is drowned out by the force of the mass media, so my argument is, is there truly strength (power) in numbers? Who are in control, are we forced to obey those in control and what methods do they use to do so?

At the library today I rented out several books which I hope will aid me in developing my research on this module.

The books are:

  • Research For Media Production
  • Playing With Power
  • Who Controls The Mass Media?
  • The Media Machine
  • Media, Polotics and Democracy
  • Power and Paranoia
  • Mass Media and Society

These books will also aid me in my research for 305MC and my essay for December.

From the first lecture on power I was introduced to the four main ‘socialisation agencies’ that have the power to modify and shape our behaviour: family, peers, religion and education. A fifth and sixth, I believe can be added to this list – our experiences and the media.

It is these agencies or institutions that form how we act; they influence our morals and beliefs are structure how we live our lives. Whether you like it or not, you are being controlled from the moment you are born; we all are, and there is nothing we can do to stop it. It is only over time that we recognise this influence of power, and even when we do, the majority of us do not change our ways, we continue the path that is set for us. When we become of a suitable age we then pass on the knowledge we know to the new generations, thus forming their ‘guidelines’ to follow, forming a continuous cycle.

I looked at various films, primarily how advertising has power over us:

Power can be used for good, but also for the opposite. But who selects who has power? In the past it was the Monarchy who had ultimate control in Britain, nowadays it is the Government. Before the rise of feminism, men had more power over women; men were the hunter-gatherers and women tended to the needs of the males in dominance. It is this aspect of male dominance and the need for men to be the centre of attention that I am interested in forming part of my power artefact.

John Emerich Edward Dalberg Acton (1834–1902), a historian and moralist, expressed this opinion in a letter to Bishop Mandell Creighton in 1887:

Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men.

For years men (and women) have striven to gain power in order to control – often for the right to rule over the masses or ‘inferiors’.

I recently watched the Matrix Reloaded, and although it is a ridiculous film, there is one quote from it which I liked:

What do all men with power want?… More power.

This could not be more true. Wealthy businessmen such as Lord Alan Sugar, Sir Richard Branson and Donald Trump have plenty of money, though they don’t retire as they live for money and power, and can’t get enough of it.

So, after the second lecture on power I looked at the notes I had made, and I thought that I would produce an artefact based on how I am influenced by a specific form of power. I believe the angle I have chosen to portray this is much different to any of what has been taught to me in lectures (therefore all of the above is irrelevant to my idea!).

Music, I believe, is a powerful tool which shapes the way individuals feel; me included. Depending on how I’m feeling at a certain time, I listen to different genres of music. For example, now, in order to work effectively I have chosen to listen to light rock music, as it calms me down and allows me to think. It enables me to type in a sort of rhythmic manner. When I am feeling down I listen to classical or acoustic, and when I feel angry I listen to rock or rap.

Music is not a one-way influence. There are moments and experiences throughout our life that influence music. It is a cycle of progression from which we are all part of:

How do you feel listening to a masterpiece such as this:

Happy? I sure do. I want to focus my project on the idea that music is powerful, not only how it effects us emotionally but also physically.

While listening to music on my iTunes library I came across Eminem’s “Lose Yourself”. This song means a lot to me as the story behind it is all about picking yourself back up when you’ve been knocked down, not giving up on what you believe in and fight until you achieve what you’ve always hoped for.

Music truly does influence the way people act and the way people carry themselves. I know that this is not always the case but most of the time people copy their favourite artists in order to feel better and be able to fit in with society, because the truth is nobody likes to be alone.

From this I shall be re-making my very own version of this song involving my American housemate Dylan, who is enthusiastic to take part to say the least.

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