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Mass Media, Lecture 18. Disney, American Identity, and Global Power

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Ron Jacobs

on 1 December 2015

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Transcript of Mass Media, Lecture 18. Disney, American Identity, and Global Power

Main Topics for Today
The Three Faces of Disney
The Culture of the Disney Image
"The Berlin Wall was destroyed not by the
force of Western arms but by the force of Western ideas. And what was the delivery system for those ideas? It has to be admItted that to an important degree it was by American entertainment."
Michael Eisner, CEO Disney Corporation
"A contradiction emerges between Disney's cutthroat commercial ethos and the Disney culture, which presents itself as the paragon of virtue and childlike innocence."
"Stripped of the historical and social constructions that give it meaning,innocence in the Disney universe becomes an atemporal, ahistorical, apolitical, and atheoretical space where
children share a common bond free of the problems and conflicts of adult society"
Turning the world into a theme park
"In 1967 the Florida legislature conceded Disney special rights to set up the Reedy Creek Improvement District, which not only was exempt from many state laws but also was granted the power to levy taxes, devise its own building codes, hire its own inspectors...[and] administer its own zoning laws."
"As a simulacrum of society, purged of conflicts, differences, and complexity, Disney World eliminates the need for the public to utilize
any of those capacities that mark them as social agents."

"Disney realism raises questions regarding what the exercise
of citizenship looks like within its environs. How is it possible to reconcile a critical reading of history, texts, and society with the interests of multibillion-dollar corporations such as Disney? What constitutes social agency outside of the logic of commercialism within the Disney worldview?
Finally, what prevents the public from raising such questions, not to mention acting upon them?"

As if modeled after the Aldous Huxley novel
Brave New World, the dystopian world of work is banished.
Utilities, power lines, storage pipes, workers' quarters, em-
ployee transportation, and all other signs of a labor force
are relegated to a vast subterranean network of corridors
and tunnels.

Disney: America's Most powerful global brand
suppression of dissent
Full transcript