9 EXAMPLE VIDEO ANALYSIS REPORT Strategies of self presentation in Pretty Woman

9 example video analysis report strategies of self

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EXAMPLE VIDEO ANALYSIS REPORT: Strategies of self-presentation in Pretty Woman (starring Julia Roberts as Vivian and Richard Gere as Edward) By Geoffrey Miller, (student ID number), [email protected] , 277-1967 In Pretty Woman , business tycoon Edward Lewis shows that in sexual courtship, people must use a wide range of both conventional and innovative self-presentation strategies to display their personal characteristics to best advantage. Edward’s main challenge is to combine his conventional, well-polished displays of competence and status with new tactics for appearing romantically likable. To demonstrate his status, it was sufficient for Edward to maintain the standard businessman image: dressing in Armani suits, being driven around in a white limo, and sponsoring charity polo games. He embodies all the status-projection strategies mentioned in chapter 4 of the textbook: displaying status artifacts (the Lotus Elise, the penthouse suite at the Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel, the constant cell-phone calls, the business entourage), conspicuous consumption (buying Vivian elegant clothes, loaning her the $250,000 necklace, flying her to San Francisco on a private jet for an evening), basking in the reflected glory of being friends with a U.S. Senator, and demonstrating supreme confidence in his body language and facial expressions. Likewise, to demonstrate his physical courage and dominance, it was enough to face down Hollywood drug dealer Carlos and his thugs. However, to become more likable, to demonstrate his kindness and sensitivity to Vivian, Edward had to become much more innovative in his self-presentation, treading the fine line between overly obvious sensitivity-displays (which would have been hard to accept) and overly subtle signals (which might have gone unnoticed). For example, to overcome Vivian’s suspicion that he was a heartless profit-seeker, Edward had to stage a performance of his musical sensitivity – a late-night session of soulful piano-playing in the hotel lounge – hoping that Vivian would wander down and appreciate his virtuosity. Likewise, he has to convert an ostensibly status-oriented event – enjoying opening night at the opera from a private box – into a credible demonstration of his own musical romanticism, and of his sensitive mentorship of Vivian’s emerging taste for the good life. Edward also had to combine his usual competence-displays with a new set of vulnerability-displays, including projecting modesty by admitting his incompetence with the Lotus Elise’s manual transmission, revealing troubled family dynamics by admitting his hatred of his recently deceased father, and emphasizing that both he and Vivian make their livings by “fucking people for money”. This psychological loosening-up is symbolized by Edward shedding his formal suits in favor of relaxed leisure wear for horse-riding and barefoot picnics.
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