5: Technologies of difference

We come to see ourselves differently as we catch sight of our images
in the mirror of the machine… A rapidly expanding system of
networks, collectively known as the internet, links millions of people
in new spaces that are changing the way we think, the nature of our
sexuality, the form of our communities, our very identities. (Turkle
1997: 9)

[W]hat these VR encounters really provide is an illusion of control
over reality, nature and, especially, over the unruly, gender and race-
marked, essentially mortal body… In this sense, these new
technologies are implicated in the reproduction of at least one very
traditional cultural narrative: the possibility of transcendence whereby
the physical body and its social meanings can be technologically
neutralized. (Balsamo 1995: 229)

Cyberspace depends for its existence on real space, real time, real
bodies. Without space/time/bodies the cyber- is inconceivable. It is a
metaphor not a place. Similarly, immersive spaces are not real, and
the body's 'experience' is not real. (Hawthorne 1999: 228)

There are no Utopian spaces anywhere except in the imagination.
(Grosz 2001: 19)

The opening of Sherry Turkle's Life on the Screen, quoted above, at once references a familiar conceptual framework in feminist theory - the screen as Lacanian mirror-image, with its illusory promise of selfidentity and declares it redundant. Screen as mirror is replaced by screen as network, and with this shift comes the promise of a collapse not only of familiar binaries (nature/culture, human/machine, real/virtual), but also of the split self of psychoanalysis. In its place is a 'multiple self, 'fluid, and constituted in interaction with machine connections' (Turkle 1997:15). This self is not, like the Ί' narrated by Irigaray (see Chapter 2), 1 frozenon this side of the screen paralyzed by all those images, words, fantasies'; on the contrary, it can 'step through the looking glass' to


Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this page

Cited page

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Women, Feminism and Media


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 176

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?