New terms and ideas that I am being exposed to in the book Practices of Looking by Marita Sturken and Lisa Cartwright
] Spectatorship [
A theory that emphasizes the role of the psyche–particularly the unconscious, desire, and fantasy– in the practice of looking. In the theory, the term spectator does not refer to a flesh-and-blood individual viewer, rather, it treats it as an “ideal subject”.
] The Subject [
Or ideal subject, abstracts from real audience members and the experience of a particular film to refer instead to a construction.
] Subject [
A term that defines those aspects of human individuals that individuals are not in control of and that are actually shared among humans. To speak of individuals as subjects is to indicate that they are split between the conscious and the unconscious, that they are produced by the structures of society, and that they are both active forces (subjects of) history but also acted upon (subjected to) all the social forces of their moment in time.
] Psychoanalysis [
The study of the role of the unconscious and desire in shaping a subject’s actions, feelings and motives, but not as a therapy practice, but to analyze systems of representation. Lacan updated many of Freud’s ideas in relationship to language systems, and inspired the use of psychoanalytic theory to interpret and analyze literature and film.
] Alienation [
Various meanings in various contexts. In general, the sense of distance from others. In Marxism, a specific condition of capitalism in which humans experience a sense of separation from the product of their labor, and hence, all aspects of life including human relations. In psychoanalysis, a split subjectivity and the discovery of the fact that one is not in control of one’s thoughts, actions, and desires because of the existence of the unconscious.
] Cinematic Apparatus [
The traditional social space of the cinema that includes a darkened theater, projector, film, sound.
] Mirror Phase [
A stage of development in which the infant first experiences a sense of alienation in its realization of its separateness from other human beings.
] The Gaze [
A complex power relations that are part of the acts of looking and being looked at.
] Male Gaze [
The idea that a female body is looked at in terms of form and allure, as an object before the male.
] Discourse [
In general, the socially organized process of talking about a particular subject matter. According to Foucault, discourse is a body of knowledge that both defines and limits what can be said about something. While there is no set list of discourses, the term tends to be used for broad bodies of social knowledge, such as the discourses of economics, the law, medicine, politics, sexuality, etc. Discourses are specific to particular social and historical contexts, and they change over time. It is fundamental to Foucault’s theory that discourses produce certain kinds of subjects and knowledge, and that we occupy to varying degrees the subject positions denied within a broad array of discourses.
] Panopticon [
We behave as we are under a scrutinizing gaze and therefore internalize the rules and norms of society.
] Orientalism [
A way that Western Cultures conceive of Eastern and Middle-Eastern cultures as other and attribute to them qualities of exoticism and barbarism.
] Biopower / Power / Knowledge [
A term by Foucault to describe the processes through which institutional practices define, measure, categorize, and construct the body. Biopower thus refers to the ways that power is enacted upon the body through regulating its activity. (social hygiene, census, reproductive practices, etc) These processes and practices produce particular kinds of knowledge about bodies, and produce bodies with particular kinds of meaning and capacities.