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gaze


Quick Reference

See also spectator; viewing.

1. v. To look steadily and intently at someone or something.

2. n. A steady and intent look.

3. (social psychology) Looking at other people in the general direction of their eyes: a key form of nonverbal communication. Increased gazing can signify liking, attraction, or dominance (though greater looking while listening can signify submissiveness or lower status). It is closely involved in the regulation of conversational turn-taking in face-to-face interaction. The study of gaze behaviour is an aspect of kinesics. See also eye contact; gaze aversion.

4. In Western society, the way in which (heterosexual) males have traditionally felt free to survey females visually; women have frequently been represented as the passive objects of this objectifying and ‘active’ gaze. This is both a symbolic reflection of dominant power relations in patriarchal societies, and at the same time a performance and mode of maintenance of such relations. Only since the mid 1980s have men themselves also begun to be publicly depicted as objects of the gaze, notably in advertising. The study of the gaze in visual culture is termed gaze theory. See also codes of looking; objectification.

5. For Freud, a look which is an uneasy mixture of partial identification with desire.

6. [French le regard, rendered as ‘the gaze’] In Lacan, the look of the infant that is reflected back by the mirror as a coherent but illusory image of the self (see also imaginary). Lacan later counter-intuitively presents the gaze as a property of the object of perception which ‘captures’ our attention: rather than us freely choosing to look, the object pictures us.

7. (the look) (film theory) A form of viewing associated by Mulvey with a male gaze which was dominant in classical Hollywood cinema: see also female gaze; male gaze.

8. [French le regard, often rendered as ‘the look’] For Sartre, a look of which one is the object, which limits one's freedom and may lead to shame.

9. For Foucault, the process of being objectified and subordinated when we are surveyed by those with power: see also panopticism.

10. (screen theory) A type of look associated with film, rather than the glance associated with television: see also spectator.

http://www.aber.ac.uk/media/Documents/gaze/ Notes on ‘the gaze’

Subjects: Media studies


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