Discuss the concept ‘Scopophilia’ by Sigmund Freud

Scopophilia is a psychoanalytic concept created by Sigmund Freud to describe the pleasure in looking, or what is more usually known as voyeurism. It is widely used in film studies, for obvious reasons, particularly by feminist scholars, to describe cinema’s popularity as an artistic medium. The best-known articulation of this concept is undoubtedly Laura Mulvey’s account of it in her famous 1975 essay, ‘Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema’. Mulvey argues that the act of viewing cinema can usefully be compared to the developmental moment Jacques Lacan referred to as the mirror stage inasmuch that the sense of ‘escape’ we feel while watching a movie is reminiscent of the imaginary ‘world’ of a child whose ego has not yet formed, while the heroic figures seen on the screen offer us plenty of examples of ego ideals to identify with. But, she argues, perception is gendered, meaning that men and women view things differently, or more precisely are positioned differently by the things they view. Men see their fantasy projected on a screen, while women see themselves depicted as the sexual objects of men’s fantasy-Mulvey argues that it does not alter things if it is, in fact, male body women are gazing at because in doing so they are still inhabiting the male heterosexual fantasy space.

Also read: Ernst Bloch (1885-1977); Biography and famous work The Principle of Hope