A Wave of Power: A Representation of Disciplinary Power in the Film Die Welle

Silje Biørnstad, Sheila Egaa Drasbeck, Dejan Omerbasic, Josefine Eggers Sellebjerg & Olga Tatiana Pajares Vallejo

Studenteropgave: Fagmodulprojekt


This project applies Michel Foucault’s theory of disciplinary power within individuals and institutions in relation to the German film Die Welle from 2008, with the use of David Bordwell & Kristin Thompson’s film theory as methodological framework to assist in the analysis of three chosen scenes of the film. It showcases how the film not only portrays that the institution holds sovereign power over individuals, but also how disciplinary power is prevalent amongst the individuals that constitute their own subjectivity. The analysis concludes that disciplinary power is represented in terms of an idea that is gently nudged by the institution to the individual, self-disciplining, monitoring of others, change of behaviour, resistance and exclusion of dissidents and ultimately loss of individuality. The analysis illustrates an escalation of power that leads to a tragedy. Lastly, the paper puts a perspective on the power of social media (in this case Facebook) as an institution such as Die Welle. Nudging and algorithms can escalate similarly to the disciplinary power of Die Welle but in a virtual, present day context, into another kind of tragedy: a democratic deficit.

UddannelserKultur- og Sprogmødestudier, (Bachelor/kandidatuddannelse) Bachelor el. kandidat
Udgivelsesdato19 dec. 2016
Antal sider58
VejledereZoran Lee Pecic