DOI link for Power Viewing
Power Viewing book
This chapter focuses on a theorization of power viewing, and discusses an appropriately 'empirical' study of the sociosemiotics of looking: 'Show Piece'. The question of the power of the visual media is traditionally posed as their power over the populace and the power of economic or political elites over them. TV is the 'power of speech' as transformed and developed in relation to material forces and social power. The chapter argues that the connection between the individual and the social is textual, and one way of investigating it is to look at a specific instance. The fundamental attribute of TV viewing is pervasion. It is global, insistent, and quite indifferent to any demographic boundary. In spite of Foucauldian, postmodernist, feminist and other interventions, or perhaps because of them, it seems as hard as ever to explain the link between textual and social power.