Visuality: Levels of Visuality
3. Visual Experience
4. Visual Culture
The Problem with Vision
Vision has a contradictory status in contemporary society. It is the sense that we appeal to most, but it also has been associated with oppression:
|For cultural studies, the gaze is a specific kind of visuality. We don't just look, we master and control through the look. Foucault does the most work on this, pointing out, for example, the medical gaze that the doctor has of the body. The body becomes a problem to be solved, dehumanized. |
This relates to the question of identity as well. Sartre comments that we need to be recognized by another in order to have identity. Many marginalized groups strive for recognition, a visual metaphor. We want to be seen in the way we want; yet, we really have little control over that.
We are spectators much of the time. We view television, film, sporting events. Our watching makes these things what they are - it not only makes them possible, but makes them a particular kind of event.
See Daniel Chandler, Notes on "The Gaze"