Introduction 2 The History of Hollywood 3

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Introduction 2

The History of Hollywood 3

The beginning of film 3

The beginning of film in America 4

The studio system 6

Film during WWII 8

Hollywood after the war 9

Hollywood of the late 20th century 12

Global Hollywood 15

The context of Global Hollywood 16

Marketing 18

Audiences 20

The concept of Global Hollywood 22

Ideology 25

Ideological state apparatus 26

Application of psychology 28

Althusser on art 29

Ideology in postmodern societies 30

The role of film 31

The ideological subject 32

Cognition and Emotion – Film from a personal perspective 33

PECMA flow 37

Genre System 41

Simulation and Emotion 44

Analysis – Die Hard 47

Plotstructure 48

John McClane – The Icon 50

Enemies 52

Justice 54

Emotional impact 58

Conclusion 62

Bibliography 63

Books: 63

Films: 64

Webpages: 64

Jstore: 64


The purpose of the master thesis is to clarify and identify the sociocultural role of the Hollywood movie. Is it purely an entertainment commodity or does the constant stream of text stemming from an ideological, cultural and production hegemony have a deeper effect on cultures and individuals that are not otherwise part of Hollywood culture. The concept of American cultural imperialism is already well established but this thesis will look at films and to what extent they have the possibility to effect individuals and cultures. The fact that most other film industries pale in the comparison with Hollywood when thinking about production capability and rate of distribution means that the Hollywood film, both in content and form, is the dominant force in the marketplace and the cultural fields. The time we live in is a mediated age and it is important to have realistic conception of the consequences of the high media concentration. Therefore the question of this thesis is:

What are the social and cultural effects of the Hollywood film on a personal and structural level?

How do the social and cultural effects of Hollywood films manifest themselves in society?

In order to answer this I will analyse the Die Hard films as they stand as one of the clearest examples of the Hollywood export of entertainment content. I will approach the films from two angles. First I will look at them as part of an ideological structure and secondly I will investigate the effects films have on an individual level. This will be done by using a cognitive approach. The approach is used in order to see if the effects that film viewing has can transpose themselves to a structural level. Finally I will discuss the results of my findings and draw a conclusion that will provide the answer to the posed questions. Most film studies focus on either ideology or cognition, but I will use both in order to establish the tangible effects of Hollywood films.

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