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jump to last post 1-2 of 2 discussions (13 posts)

Sorry--It's Jacques Lacan's Gaze Theory...Help

  1. EsmeSanBona profile image81
    EsmeSanBonaposted 5 years ago

    Aside question--did I completely overlook the actual "Philosophy" subheading under Religion and Philosophy? 

    At any rate, while doing some research last night I came across Jacques Lacan's "gaze" theory and I believe I sort of understand it, but I am interested in hearing from anyone knowledgeable on the subject.  I don't want to go into what I think I understand because honestly, it is completely new to me.  I am very intrigued though and would welcome any knowledge anyone wants to share with regard to Lacan, even if it isn't "gaze" related.


    1. profile image0
      Sooner28posted 5 years agoin reply to this

      I've never heard of this fellow.  I'll have to look him up.

    2. eternals3ptember profile image60
      eternals3ptemberposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      I'm probably being nit-picky, but "philosophy" on this sub- head is more like "personal philosophies" or beliefs that are quasi-religious. Philosophy in an academic setting (Plato, Locke, etc) is a sub-section of the "Science and Education" forum page.

      1. profile image0
        Sooner28posted 5 years agoin reply to this

        Um.  Why am I posting here then?  I thought this was the philosophy section.

        1. eternals3ptember profile image60
          eternals3ptemberposted 5 years agoin reply to this

          Yeah, the Ed and Sci page is kinda obscure here... In fact, it's probably better putting your stuff here ao it gets seen.

      2. EsmeSanBona profile image81
        EsmeSanBonaposted 5 years agoin reply to this

        Eternals3ptember you aren't being nit-picky at all--you helped answer my question!  I do not remotely know my way around the forums, so I appreciate the help.  That actually helps me out a lot because I have all kinds of questions about various philosophers and philosophies.  Now I know where I can get answers to those questions!

        But it does beg the question as to why atheism is included under religion then.  Why wouldn't atheism rank with up with higher philosophy rather than personal philosophies?  Scholarly atheists writings exist that would seem to merit that category, IMHO.  Placing it in such a category would surely make life more pleasant for folks wanting to discuss the topic, it would seem.

    3. profile image0
      Rad Manposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      That second or two it takes you to regain your thoughts when you realize you're being watched? Being dyslexic it's always been much more apparent to me when I have to read allowed to others. The lack of focus causes me to read far worse then when I read silently.

      1. EsmeSanBona profile image81
        EsmeSanBonaposted 5 years agoin reply to this

        The way I understand it, there is apparently an objectification that occurs during those seconds.  Now I understand the part that involves the "male gaze" aspect and the objectification of women, but apparently his theory was also born from the observation of prisoners.  I know that staring can create discomfort, but I guess I've never really thought about why.  I always assumed it was a SELF consciousness that created the unease, not feeling as though one were de-humanized.  Am I missing something?

        Out of curiosity, do you lose focus because you anticipate reading something incorrectly and being judged harshly for doing so?  I used to perform and I was always told never to strive for perfection, that audiences intuitively know when one is trying to be perfect and this causes them to judge one against a perfection standard, but that when one simply performs and forgets about perfection, audiences are apt to be more forgiving.

        All of which still sounds very human to me and not objectifying.  I feel like I'm completely missing something right in front of me.

        1. prettydarkhorse profile image64
          prettydarkhorseposted 5 years agoin reply to this

          You can act in a way that you want to appease the viewer or audience. Sometimes you want to do or say things that will be more acceptable to the other person so that you will be in a more positive light. Expectations come in, you are mirroring the expectation of the other person.

        2. profile image0
          Rad Manposted 5 years agoin reply to this

          Why do I lose focus when trying to read aloud to a group of people? I'll try to briefly explain the process. Reading for me as a dyslexic (especially when I was young) takes all of my concentration, even with good concentration I still make errors. When I'm reading in my head the errors are not apparent because I'm think the correct word, but my mouth says something different when reading aloud. So when reading aloud, some of my concentration goes to those watching/judging me and that loss of focus is enough for me to lose my spot on page or mis or mispronounce words.

  2. EsmeSanBona profile image81
    EsmeSanBonaposted 5 years ago

    @Rad Man, I have experienced something similar when engaging in public speaking--especially when using a mic--when I hear my own voice it distracts me and I'll forget what I was even talking about to begin with.  Last year I suffered a head injury and have noticed that I must be more careful when writing as I will use misspell or misuse words I never had issues with before. 

    To both respondents, both of you responded with situations that still sound very human--responding to perceived judgement, adjusting one's self to social situations, etc.  But what I got from what I read was that the discomfort originates when one realizes if one can see, one can be seen and since inanimate objects are the majority of what is processed visually, one equates one's self to an object at certain times.  I mean I don't think the theory means that one believes mom's ceramic cats are keeping tabs at all times. 

    I guess I'm just wondering if I am misreading this.

    1. profile image0
      Rad Manposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      Yes, I could of course be wrong, but I think you misunderstood.

      Say a young child is going about his business playing with toys on the floor when he notices he can see his toy. This leads to him thinking that if he and other can see his toy then others can see him. The moment he realizes this there will be a paused moment, an aware moment.

      the other day my 12 year old had a puzzled look on his face, so I asked him what was wrong. He said "Dad, I can think about myself thinking".

      Sorry about the head injury, welcome to my world of spelling errors. My new computer fixes my mistakes, but sometimes errors with an unintended word. I sometimes don't see them until I reread a post or an email. It sure sucked in school before computers. I had SP's all over my essays and exams.

      1. EsmeSanBona profile image81
        EsmeSanBonaposted 5 years agoin reply to this

        Did you ask your son what he thought about himself?  I love it when kids have those awarenesses, I can still remember my own and they are trippy moments. 

        What you said sounds right to me.  I think that is what I was missing.  But I think then that the objectification must come in due to noticing that sometimes people are looking at one in the same manner that one observes as object.   That would be why women feel that they are seen as sex objects, etc.   

        So I suppose there are different types of "gazes". 

        I was wondering because when I came across the theory, it reminded me of Medusa's ability to turn those who looked at her into stone.  My understanding of Greek mythology is that the reason for that was due to her hideousness, but now I am wondering if the metaphor goes deeper.  There seems to be a lot of power associated with looking at people or things:  Medusa's ability, superstitions involving the evil eye. 

        I even came across something somewhere, but now cannot recall the source, that stated that when one uses the phrase "look at" one expects a change to occur.  I find that interesting given the claims of quantum mechanics regarding the observer effect.

        The spelling error thing does truly suck.  I often don't notice my errors at all until a receive a response and see the original email.  And it is really fun writing about "marshall law" as if I'm discussing an episode of Gunsmoke.  At least I've recovered from having complete word blanks or using completely random words to describe everyday objects such as asking someone if they would get my dog's "garnet' rather than his collar.  It was like speaking and writing in Mad Libs there for a while.