Theorizing Kineticism in Cyberbodies: Embodiment and Sexuality in the Technological Culture of Cyberspace

Samita Nandy
Communication and Culture, York University
March, 2002


Contemporary literature in cybernetic culture reveals a rise of technological beings of cyborgs and disembodied selves as post-gender bodies on the Net. While Donna Haraway defines the "cyborg" as a hybrid of machine and organism and, hence, a gender-free entity in cybernetic culture, human beings interacting during online communication are often conceived as disembodied selves, thus devoid of any gender identity. The problematic condition of the negation of gender is, however, an oversight of the nature of 'sexuality' and sexual 'subjectivity' of human beings in cybernetic culture. Nevertheless, images in science fiction films and chat forums in Internet communication not only reveal diverse sexual identities, thus challenging the absence of gender in cyberspace, but manifests kinesthetic features in the
embodiment of cybersexuality.

In this thesis, I theorize and
inaugurate 'kineticism' as the structural condition and state of existence of human body and sexuality, and its subversive potential for sexual emancipation in cyberspace. The word 'kineticism' is intended to suggest the system of ideas and condition of 'motion' that denote the 'structure' and 'mode of existence' as manifested in
the 'choreography' and
'tectonics' of cyberbodies. To support my point of view, I will be drawing upon the theoretical perspectives of postmodernism and cyberfeminist theory. For the
purpose of conducting this research, I will be employing a qualitative
methodology of critical discourse analysis. As for the sources of this research, I would be using theoretical texts as found in both print and online publications as well as images in cyberpunk films and digital art in new media

Deconstructing ideological notions of fixed sexuality and gender in human society, this research discovers and affirms a kinetic sexuality in cyberbodies. Introducing 'kineticism' as the 'structural condition' and 'mode of existence' of embodiment and sexuality in cyberspace, this thesis will not only contribute an original theoretical knowledge of sexual
subjectivity and emancipation of human bodies in digital culture but
offer a critical advancement of contemporary social and feminist theory as well.

(Full Text: 27535 words / 121 pages)
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