Analysis Of Hollywood: The Dream Factory By Hortense Powdermaker

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Due to her book "Hollywood: The Dream Factory. An Anthropologist Looks at the Movie Makers" Hortense Powdermaker is regarded as one of the pioneers of ethnography. Published in 1951 by Secker & Warburg in London, Powdermaker here aims to demystify the affect of movies on the audience and establishes the hypothesis "that the social system in which they are made significantly influences their content and meaning" (Powdermaker, 1951, p.3). After living in Hollywood for one year she concludes that the internal structures resemble those of a totalitarian system in which the struggle between business and art is reflected in the meaning of its movies. It suggests that the values of studio bosses and producers dominate while the artistic values of directors and writers are strongly restricted.
Although her work is an example of ethnographic research, Hortense Powdermaker considered herself to be an anthropologist. After receiving her bachelor in history Powdermaker worked in the labor movement for a few years but was inspired by her later mentor Bronislaw Malinowski to gain her Ph.D. in anthropology in 1928 (Gacs, 1989). Prior to her Hollywood studies she spent time in Papua New Guinea to observe a native tribe to which she also refers to throughout "Hollywood: The Dream Factory" and allows her to draw comparisons.
To gain insight into the culture that constitutes Hollywood Powdermaker spent one year in Los Angeles to conduct "applied anthropology, that is, using an anthropological

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