Abstract or Introduction
The aim of this paper is to explore the intersection of the human body with technology and to demonstrate that cyborgs in fiction are often represented as the ethnic others and act as metaphors for experiences of ethnicity for whom social, cultural, economic or other forces matter. Gender and identity of fictitious cyborgs are the major points of analysis that will be explored within critical race theory, globalization and Asian American Studies. This paper also highlights that Neuromancer reveals the contrast between pre-technological imagery of powerless and vulnerable ethnic bodies in comparison to superior white bodies modified with new technology. Ghost in the Shell, in contrast, points to the technological power of the ethnic bodies that give them strength to liberate themselves from the white dominant discourse. Salt Fish Girl’s biopolitics emphasizes the biological power of the ethnic bodies offering alternative bodily possibilities beyond the technological and the artificial ones. This work also reveals that Neuromancer establishes clear distinctions between the dominant and subordinate, the technological and organic, the self and the other, whereas Ghost in the Shell and Salt Fish Girl blur these distinctions.
Besides, this paper also explores the impact of technology on a cyborg’s identity and subjectivity. As Alex Goody suggests: “any identity of a human being lies beyond its physical continuity” (153). In other words, cyborgs in fiction often speculate on possible outcomes of creating technological humans. The cyborgs are able to reveal hopes and anxieties concerning the fusion of technology and biology and to get into the conflict or disunity between their bodies, minds, and souls. The cyborgs are also often emotionally troubled by their memories that can be made prosthetic, false or be erased. This paper also reveals the ambiguous nature of technology because it can devalue and objectify the bodies or give them strength and empowerment. The concluding part of this paper reveals the role of East Asia in speculative fiction and the role of Internet technology for Asian American ethnicity and the representation of the cyborg body online. Cyberspace may also be associated with inaccurate representations of the ethnic bodies. The selected works limit the discussion of this paper to Chinese and Japanese people and culture in the West.
- Quote paper
- Alina Müller (Author), 2016, Technology, the Body, and the Internet between the West and East Asia: The Discourse on Race in Science Fiction, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/1133572
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