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Related: human - motivation - need - psychology

Tropes and characters: femme fatale - Don Juan

Séduction/Seduction (1979) - Jean Baudrillard [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]


Seduction is the process of deliberately enticing another person into an act (see motivation). The word can have a negative connotation, either seriously or mildly (and also used jokingly), and may refer to an act that the other may later regret and/or would normally not want to do.

In a religious context, seduction is often a specific form of temptation, an inducement to commit a sinful or immoral act.

Sexual seduction
Seduction most commonly refers to the use of sexual desire in order to persuade someone to change their behavior to meet the desires of the seducer.

It is usually implied that the seducer is acting out of a motive other than love for the seducee, and that the object of the seduction would not ordinarily have engaged in such behavior.

There are many strategies that can be used for seduction, depending on sex, personality and circumstances. Many social behavior theorists classify seduction as a specialized form of persuasion. Seduction can also be viewed as a form of power that relies on psychological mastery rather than the use of coercive power, money, or intellectual appeals.

Myths and legends and popular literature have many accounts of sexual seduction, and describe a number of gods of seduction and seduction allegories. From the story of Eve in the Garden of Eden to the Sirens of Ancient Greece described in Homer's Odyssey, to stories of Krishna and Pan, these stories of seduction involve themes of temptation of the forbidden, sexual desire, and a departure from the prevalent societal norms.

Certain individuals have used seduction skills to achieve great power or fulfill their desires. Cleopatra VII of Egypt used seduction to help consolidate her empire by charming the two most powerful men of the Roman Empire at the time, Julius Caesar and Mark Antony. Giacomo Casanova (1725 - 1798) was a famous 18th century seducer, whose name has become synonymous with seduction. The "mad monk" Rasputin (1869? - 1906) achieved great power in the later days of Romanov Russia through his supposed mystic powers and his sexual influence. Don Juan and James Bond are examples of fictional seducers, The Graduate's infamous Mrs. Robinson being a female counterpart.

Social-influence scholars have developed a variety of ways of categorizing the mechanisms through which people persuade others to change their behavior. Robert Cialdini's Influence: Science and Practice is one such resource. In the book, Cialdini presents a number of principles of persuasion, citing and discussing a range of research and anecdotes. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seduction [Dec 2005]

Séduction/Seduction (1979) - Jean Baudrillard

From Publishers Weekly
Seduction, in French thinker Baudrillard's apocalyptic discourse, is a power of attraction and fascination capable of subverting mechanical, orgasm-centered sexuality and reality in general. Two chief obstacles to unleashing the potentially liberating forces of seduction are the women's movement and psychoanalysis, charges the author of America and Forget Foucault. While recognizing that seduction has a negative side--turning the seduced person away from his/her true thoughts and impulses--Baudrillard is intrigued by the seductive processes at work in the vertigo induced by games, in magic and the lottery, in the transvestite's "total gestural, sensual and ritual" behavior. He decodes pornography as "an orgy of realism," a hyperreality of signs. In his analysis, seduction has itself been corrupted in a world of manufactured desires and ready-made satisfactions. With seductive irony, Baudrillard storms the fragile phallic fortress of patriarchy in this heady, sometimes obscure meditation.

From Library Journal
If a state of exasperation, a thwarting of expectation, and a teasing of the imagination are sufficient response to a book that bafflingly evades all of the flexible nomenclature of literary classification, then Seduction has been successful. It is not science, if science is clear thinking from carefully ascertained facts. It is not art, for Baudrillard writes a prose--in translation at least (the book was first published in France in 1979)--that has neither intelligibility nor music. The author of America had an opportunity to inform and enlighten us on the various roles the art and act of seduction play in our lives, but his arguments are vitiated by the lack of a coherent point of view and by diffuseness. To read the book takes much more effort than the average reader is likely to give

Excess and Resistance in Feminised Bodies: David Cronenberg’s Videodrome and Jean Baudrillard’s Seduction by Martin Ham
An exploration of the politics of representation, in particular, notions of excess and resistance, as they are worked through in both Baudrillard's Seduction and Cronenberg's Videodrome. --Martin Ham, Jan 2004 http://www.sensesofcinema.com/contents/04/30/videodrome_seduction.html [Oct 2004]

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