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Y Movies: Film and the Modernization of Pastoral Power

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Abstract:

The institutional creation of the Bureau of Motion Pictures and Exhibits, a division of the Industrial Department of the International Committee of the YMCA, is examined to assess why the YMCA turned to film as a mode of public address in its social welfare programs. The archival history supports the claim that the "attraction effect" of film transformed it into a cultural technology for shaping the conduct of industrial workers. The essay concludes by arguing how film contributed to liberalism's modernization of pastoral power by coupling immigrant workers with the pedagogical voice of the YMCA secretary.

Keywords: Cultural Technology; Film; Liberalism; Pastoral Power; YMCA

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/1479142042000332125

Publication date: 2005-03-01

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