Manipulations et influences
Manipulations et influences

Manipulations et influences


The concept of manipulation expresses the fear that, through powerful influence techniques, distant and invisible manipulators direct our thoughts, desires and actions, and this without our consent and without our awareness. Stéphane Laurens shows that these fears are irrational, because if efficient influences are exerted on us, they come first and foremost from those close to us and serve our social insertion.
Analyzing the beliefs on which these fears are based, revisiting archaic forms of influence (possession, magnetism...) and deciphering emblematic experiments (of Asch and Milgram in particular), he shows that the manipulator/manipulated dualism is an illusion that masks the fundamental determinant of the social bond: a system of shared meanings that defines the entities present (exorcist-possessed; hypnotist-hypnotized; authority-submissive. ...), the roles of each one (to order-obey, to suggest-realize...), the symbols (cross, white coat...), the relevant gestures (look, tone...) and the effects.
Are we manipulated? Yes, but as much as the manipulator is himself! He must believe in the efficiency of the techniques he uses and these techniques must appear to be valid not only for him and for the person he manipulates, but also for the society in which their relationship takes place. If Stéphane Laurens shows that the effects of influence or manipulation are tenuous, he reveals a much greater danger: believing in the existence of powerful influences leads to the implementation of liberticidal policies (witch hunts, prohibition of hypnosis, offence of manipulation) in order to protect individuals from supposedly harmful influences.
More broadly, he shows that the concepts of influence or manipulation have no explanatory value, but lead to fallacious interpretations of social behavior.

Number of pages
13,8 cm × 23,0 cm × 1,4 cm
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