The Cyborg Paradigm, Gender Difference, and Multivocality

George P. Landow, Professor of English and Art History, Brown University

Like Bakhtin's multivocality and Derrida's decentering, Haraway's cyborg , attacks and opens up false, imposed unities that form as univocality. As she explains:

The task is to "disqualify" the analytic categories, like sex or nature, that lead to univocity. This move would expose the illusion of an interior organizing gender core and produce a field of race and gender difference open to resignification . . . . A concept of a coherent inner self, achieved (cultural) or innate (biological), is a regulatory fiction that is unnecessary -- indeed inhibitory -- for feminist projects of producing and affirming complex agency and responsibility. . . . For Westerners, it is a central consequence of concepts of gender difference that a person may be turned by another person into an object and robbed of his or her status as a subject. The proper state for a Western person is to have ownership of the self, to have and hold a core identity as if it were a possession. 135]

How does such an approach embody Derrida's deconstruction of oppositions?

Last modified 14 April 2005