The subject, gender and body in cyberspace between utopia and dystopia

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  • Publicado : 29 de mayo de 2011
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Much of Western philosophy believes that the subject in the so-called Postmodern Era has lost its unity and concreteness, and has become fragmented, contradictory, and unstable. The newtechnologies, especially those of the computer and Virtual Reality, are said to be one of the main causes of this earthquake concerning the self, and at the same time they are metaphors of thespace-time distortion that is peculiar to Postmodern society. The World Wide Web, or Net is decentered in its essence; it consists of islands of information among which users can easily move, experiencingexhilaration as well as a sense of puzzlement due to the impossibility of dominating the endless data universe that he/she accesses. The Net is a disembodied space, in which subjective identity isfragmented and tends to disappear. It is this very aspect that has had a deep influence on the authors of cyberpunk literature, whose conclusions differed according to their gender.
The aim of this studyis to describe the problematic relationship between the embodied, gendered subject, and the technology of the new Millennium. It will focus on the challenges posed by cyberpunk in particular, and bycyberspace in general, to corporeal reality. What will happen to the body on the Internet? Is it destined to remain in the shadows to which it has been confined by centuries of Western philosophy, oris it going to resist, with the help of the feminist movement among others? I will discuss the same issues as far as gendered identity is concerned; in fact, on the Internet gendered identity can beworn and thrown away, discarded like a dress on the Internet, apparently without any consequences on real life. How is the perception of gender changing? Are we really heading towards a postgenderedera? And if so, is that what we really want?
In order to answer these questions, I have divided my study into four chapters: the first chapter focuses on the different perspectives which have been...