Century of Self
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In essence, the film argues that Sigmund Freud’s seminal theory of the subconscious has been successfully deployed over the past century as an instrument of consumer manipulation and social control. The primary engineer of this transformation, according to the film, was Edward Bernays, Freud’s American nephew, who was responsible for coining the term “public relations” in the 1920’s. Bernays managed to pull off a number of impressive marketing coups in his long career, including the popularization of smoking among women, by tapping into the tenets of psychoanalysis to predict and shape consumer behavior.