Notes on “The Gaze”

Here is an excerpt of what looks like an interesting collection of notes on looking, seeing, and the gaze.

Notes on ‘The Gaze’

Daniel Chandler


I make no great claims for these somewhat fragmented notes which are offered by way of introduction to students concerned with examining the functions of ‘the gaze’ in the visual media (in particular in relation to television and to advertising in all its forms). ‘The gaze’ (sometimes called ‘the look’) is a technical term which was originally used in film theory in the 1970s but which is now more broadly used by media theorists to refer both to the ways in which viewers look at images of people in any visual medium and to the gaze of those depicted in visual texts. The term ‘the male gaze’ has become something of a feminist cliché for referring to the voyeuristic way in which men look at women (Evans & Gamman 1995, 13). My aim here is to alert students to existing material and frameworks which may assist them in their own investigations of the issue of the gaze in relation to media texts.

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