lil-bee: the randomizer

Discipline and Punishment // Power in Gaze
Monday, April 08, 2013 | 5:41 pm | Comment ⇢
No, I'm not here to promote any BDSM / voyeur fetishes, rather I'm talking about Foucault's Discipline and Punishment and specifically his study of the power-relations involved in the gaze. Of course he goes into detail and I haven't looked into it much to elaborate but he talks about the power in gaze and how it can be used as a form of discipline as well as exerting dominance in power - relations. I haven't really thought about it or come across this concept before, I guess its normalised into the society without us even thinking about the deeper meanings of it?

Anyway, I found it really interesting and am looking forward to reading a translate of that and some other works of Foucault after I've got some free time after exams / dissertation. Maybe even in between writing my dissertation so it can refresh my mind and get it out of the econ-development coma I plan on putting myself in while doing my research!

While I'm not saying you should read Foucault with me (somehow this blog has turned all poncey academic in the last few posts .. sorry, this is what essays / exams do to me, I'll be back to normal soon, I promise!), you should definitely check out the conceptualisations of the gaze (wikipedia). Thinking about real life manifestations, I can definitely see it prevailing in gender relations, & emphasis on the gaze in Islam isn't surprising at all. In fact, looking at Western feminism interpretations of the gaze, its no wonder that many women find the veil empowering (take that femen [whose recent protests for freedom from male domination in defining our bodies is so oxymoronic and orientalist btw]). But even leaving that political-religious sphere of debate for another post (in another blog?), the power of the gaze even seeps down to the base predator/prey level of human biology - don't break eye contact and show that cat / dog / lion whose boss i.e maintain dominance. Foucault however, as I understand, studies it at a more in-depth level and I think can help us examine it in more subtle contexts of everyday life.


RE: Femen -

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