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MDSA02H3 (54)
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Chapter 7

MDSA01 - Chapter 7: Psychoanalytic Analysis

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Media Studies
Ted Petit

7Psychoanalytic Analysis PAPsychoanalyticWhy do we tend to describe ideas of love and emotional satisfaction in terms of completionHow might we understand the association between our desires and feelings of personal wholenessThese questions underlie a Psychoanalytic approach to media studiesCultural theorists like David Morley have critiqued psychoanalysis for considering the audience as one homogenous group but the approach still provides an interesting perspective regarding the implicit psychological appeal of media textsSigmund FreudOriginator of this perspectivePA scholars explore how media texts reflect human mental drives toward unity pleasure and desireFocus on individual psychology the psychology of the media text and the ways in which the two interact in the process of media consumption According to him all infants are born polymorphously perverse or with the ability to experience pleasure in an infinite number of ways because they have no selfcontrol and are uninhibited by social conventionsThe Pleasure PrincipleFor Freud notions of individual subjectivity identity and consciousness are born out of an essential opposition between what he called the Pleasure Principle and the Reality PrinciplePleasure Principle the uncontrollable human drive to satisfy desire an appetite for something that promises enjoyment satisfaction and pleasure in its attainmentCommon examples of desires wanting of sex power or food We also desire and find pleasure in the aesthetics of fine art or architectureHowever PA scholars claim that we can also desire and find pleasure in processes like urination horror or shock and if you stop to consider pleasure comes from many things we might not associate it withEx When we break ruleslaws such as passing the speed limit or watching gruesome spectacles like slowing down to take a look at a terrible car accidentThese examples make it apparent that pleasure doesnt only refer to aspects associated with joy or comfort Instead PA scholars understand pleasure as that which momentarily allows us to transcend everyday existence and realitySo according to PA scholars Pleasure is that which seems to take us outside of ourselvesFreud associates the pleasure principle with the idthe inherited instinctual part of the psychethe one and only urge of these id instincts is towards satisfactionPleasure Principle or the id pushes individuals toward the unrestricted satisfaction of every possible desireLibidothe instinctual energy force drives the idThe Reality PrincipleRegulates the id keeps the pleasure principle in checkSome of our desires are socially unacceptable or unhealthy so the reality principle intervenes and regulates our experience of pleasure
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