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Pleasure in looking; in Freudian psychoanalytic theory, an infantile instinct. In relation to the dominance of the male gaze in classical Hollywood cinema, Mulvey refers to scopophilia as the pleasure involved in looking at other people's bodies as (particularly, erotic) objects without being seen either by those on screen or by other members of the audience. Mulvey argues that cinema viewing conditions facilitate both the voyeuristic process of the objectification of female characters and also the narcissistic process of identification with an ideal ego seen on the screen. See also male gaze; voyeurism; compare fetishism.

Subjects: Media Studies.

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