Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Option 2

“I have used Rachel Grossman’s (1980) image of women in the integrated circuit to name the situation of women in a world so intimately restructured through the social relations of science and technology. I used the odd circumlocution, ‘the social relations of science and technology’, to indicate that we are not dealing with a technological determinism, but with a historical system depending upon structured relations among people. But the phrase should also indicate that science and technology provide fresh sources of power, that we need fresh sources of analysis and political action (Latour, 1984). Some of the rearrangements of race, sex, and class rooted in high-tech-facilitated social relations can make socialist-feminism more relevant to effective progressive politics (165)”.

When I first read this quote, I couldn’t grasp the concept of what she is saying because of three things: Rachel Grossman, Latour, and the word circumlocution.

When I found an article on Rachel Grossman I was not surprised. The article is about women and then I realized that Grossman was a feminist just like Haraway. Grossman wrote an article about women in Malaysia that do work in a plant making micro chip. “Beauty contests are the most dramatic example of the way electronics factories manipulate traditional concepts of femininity and gender roles (Grossman 3)”. First off, Grossman is explaining that men are manipulating women to work harder to be able to compete in the beauty competition (Grossman 3). This related to the quote because this relates feminism to science and technology. I think that the most powerful quote in the whole article would be:Most highly developed in Malaysia, these techniques specifically’ exploit the traditionally-defined attributes of femininity - passivity’, submissiveness, sentimentality, sexual desirability - within a factory’ lifestyle (Grossman 9)”. This shows that Grossman is passionate about feminism rights in third world countries. Also that she is specifically interested in the technology of these countries and the women working in these technologies. I feel as though this connects to my quote because of the feminist aspect of her paper.

The next person in this paragraph that I was confused by was the name Latour. Bruno Latour was “best known for his contributions to the philosophy of science and science studies over the past thirty years, has had a major but underappreciated impact on the discipline of anthropology (Vidmar 1)”. This makes the articles make sense because Latour did studies in the philosophy of science. Latour’s early works made the related claim that technology, science, and the social are one and the same. He also did experiments in labs to prove this thought (Vidmar 11). This makes the quote also make sense because if he believed that socialism was the same as technology this could explain cyborgs. This also could explain this quote because I feel that if we all believed that they are the same we could have progressive politics.

The last part of the quote that I wanted to explore was the word “circumlocution”. Encarta.com defines it as an “indirect way of saying something: the use of more words than necessary to express something, especially to avoid saying it directly.” I found it ironic that the last part of the question for my option was to say if you thought that this paper is difficult or not. I find this paper difficult for my terms. She used a circumlocution instead of shortening her words. And I think that she made this so difficult to make us think more in her terms because most people do not understand her way of thinking about feminism as a technology.

Work Cited

Grossman, Rachel. "Miss Micro." New Internationalist Aug. 1985. Woman to Woman. New Internationalist. 6 Oct. 2008 http://www.newint.org/issue150/contents.htm

Vidmar, Heather. "BIOGRAPHIES: Bruno Latour." Dept of Anthropology. Indiana University. 6 Oct. 2008 http://www.indiana.edu/~wanthro/theory_pages/latour.htm

1 comment:

Adam Johns said...

This essay ends abruptly, and you might have been better off asking *why* Haraway made things so difficult (which is what the prompt called for, I'm 99% sure!). You also make some weird mistakes e.g. - "that socialism was the same as technology this could explain cyborgs." "The social" is not the same as socialism! I have no idea what made you make this leap.

So, your argument is underdeveloped and you make some strange mistakes.

On the other hand, you picked a good passage and did a pretty thorough job explaining its sources. For this passage, and for your approach to it, I think that explaining the context was arguably more important than finishing your own argument, although doing so would have been a nice touch.