ISBN is

978-0-262-19362-7 / 9780262193627

The War of Desire and Technology at the Close of the Mechanical Age

by

Publisher:The MIT Press

Edition:Hardcover

Language:English

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About the book:

In this work, Allucquere Rosanne Stone examines the myriad ways modern technology is challenging traditional notions of gender identity. Face-to-face meetings, and even telephone conversations, involuntarily reveal crucial aspects of identity such as gender, age and race. However, these bits of identity are completely masked by computer-mediated communications; all that is revealed is what we "choose" to reveal - and then only if we choose to tell the truth. The rise of computer-mediated communications is giving people the means to try on alternative personae - in a sense, to reinvent themeselves - which, as Stone compellingly argues, has both positive and potentially destructive implications. The book moves between accounts of the modern interface of technology and desire: from busy cyberlabs to the electronic solitude of the Internet, from phone sex to "virtual cross-dressers", from the Vampire Lestat to the trial of a man accused of having raped a woman by seducing one of her multiple personalities. Throughout, Stone wrestles with the question of how best to convey a complex description of a culture whose chief activity is complex description. Writing of creating a "text that breaks rules", serving as a "sampler of possible choices", she employs elements from a wide range of disciplines and genres, including cultural and critical theory, social sciences, pulp journalism, science fiction, and personal memoirs. In the final chapter, Stone threads the various narratives together, a process that best reflects the confused, ambiguous and sometimes contradictory state of gender relations at the close of the mechanical age.

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