Re: the gaze -Foucault's words

In a message dated 7/2/03 10:27:09 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
panopticon@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx writes:
> to what extent the problem of the total visibility of bodies, of
> individuals and things,
> under a system of centralized surveillance, had been one of the most
> constant guiding principles.

Thus the idea of "the gaze" is related to the idea of "surveillance."
If you are able to look at something, see it, therefore you are able to
control it. According to this line of thinking, gazing or looking at something is
the MEANS toward exerting control.

When one was in second or third grade, the teacher could see all the
students. Sometimes you had to keep your hands folded. She could "survey" the
class, and control the students by looking or gazing at them. Her looking
functioned to make certain that everyone wasadhering to the norms (e. g., sitting
properly in one's seat).

Transgression might be when you tried to chew bubble gum, or read a
magazine surrepitiously. One did something one was not supposed to be doing.
When one did such things, it was necessary to avert the gaze of the teacher.
Freedom to "do your own thing" was related to the capacity to not be seen.

As an adult in an urban society, it is possible to be free of the gaze
of others. Even if persons look at you, one can ignore them because you don't
know who they are or don't care about them.

When you see yourself through the eyes of others, those others are
exerting control. Your sense of self is based on the internalized gaze of the
others (how you think will appear "in their eyes").

Marijuana use has the effect of escaping the gaze of others and
awareness of being "connected" to society. One attempts to go "within" into a place
where no one is present except one's self.

When no one is looking at you, still you exist.

With regards,

Richard K.

Richard A. Koenigsberg, Ph. D.
Library of Social Science

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