Cyborg Babies: From Techno-Sex to Techno-Tots

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9780415916035: Cyborg Babies: From Techno-Sex to Techno-Tots

First Published in 1998. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa company.

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Review:

The editors of this anthology and the writers featured here use the term cyborg seriously. They do not, however, use it in its science fiction sense. As defined here, we are all cyborgs to the extent that we are not merely using technology but have become dependent, perhaps codependent, upon it. The anthology examines the role high technology now plays in the development of our children, from technology-based conception to the technological toys children play with. The contributions cover a wide range of philosophies, from those who find current trends alarming to those who consider recent developments a great boon for all humanity.

All agree, though, that technology has caused--or at least paved the way for--serious social changes in the way children are conceived, gestated, born, and raised. The writers look not only at how technology has changed the processes but how it has shaped our views of childbirth and childcare. Technologies addressed range from artificial insemination to the use of ultrasound and even teddy bears that comfort a baby with the sounds of the womb. The range of philosophies explored is equally wide. Emily Martin, for example, looks at the medical metaphors for mothers' bodies in her essay "The Fetus as Intruder," while Mizuko Ito examines simulation games and destructive impulses. With many diverse perspectives here, it's unlikely that you'll agree with everything you read, but you'll certainly find much worth thinking about. --Elizabeth Lewis

From the Publisher:

This book consists of cutting edge critiques and personal narratives focusing on new reproductive technologies that have effects on conception and parental life; the technological placement of birth in the hospital; the many technologies used to care for the newborn; and the ways that high-tech middle class environments affect American children as they grow up. CYBORG BABIES mixes many considerations and treatments of technology to discuss the increasing cyborgification of the American child, from conception through birth and beyond.

About The Editors:

Robbie Davis-Floyd is a Research Fellow at the University of Texas, Austin. She is the author of Birth as an American Rite of Passage (1992) and Authoritative Knowledge: Cross-Cultural Perspectives (1997).

Joseph Dumit is Assistant Professor Program in Science, Technology & Society at MIT. He is the co-editor of Cyborgs and Citadels: Anthropological Interventions in Emerging Sciences, Technologies and medicines (1997) and is assistant editor of Culture, Medicine and Society.

Contributors:
Janet Isaacs Ashford
Elizabeth Cartwright
David Chamberlain
Charis M. Cussins
Jennifer Croissant
Eugenia Georges
Anne Hill
Mizuko Ito
Emily Martin
Steven Daniel Mentor
Janneli F. Miller
Lisa Mitchell
Lisa Jean Moore
Rayna Rapp
Elizabeth Roberts
Matthew A. Schmidt
Sylvia Sensiper
Sherry Turkle

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