Re: the gaze -Foucault's words

Of course this attempt to avert the gaze by looking as if you are not
concerned about the gaze of those in power only brings about more suspicion.
In "1984", Winston Smith discovers a small spot in his room where he knows
he cannot be seen by the television. He also knows that he cannot appear to
be too innocent because the appearence of looking innocent has the effect
of arousing more suspicion, but at the same time he also knows that he
cannot appear to be plotting something because that draws attention also.
Living under this constant scrutiny causes the citizen to develop certain
masks to negotiate appearences to deal with the gaze. Ultimately, though,
the gaze is internalized and becomes self-scrutiny. But one cannot appear to
be monitoring one's own conduct under this self-scrutiny because that looks
like there is a central ego that controls these exterior appearences, a self
which monitors various forms of exposure. One must apear as if there is no
self, as if these appearences and negotiations happen by themselves without
an overseeing internalized monitor. One must make it seem "natural,"
uncontrived, as if it happened without the one even being present.

----- Original Message -----
From: <PsycheCulture@xxxxxx>
To: <foucault@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Wednesday, July 02, 2003 11:02 PM
Subject: 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
> 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
> students. Sometimes you had to keep your hands folded. She could "survey"
> 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.,
> 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
> When one did such things, it was necessary to avert the gaze of the
> 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
> of others. Even if persons look at you, one can ignore them because you
> 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
> 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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