McAnulty College and Graduate School of Liberal Arts
critical research, cyberculture studies, cyborg subjectivity, Foucault and Heidegger, hermeneutic research, Internet
Amidst modernity's expanding electronic social matrix, this cultural-historical inquiry explores the technological construction of human being (e.g., cyborgs) and sociality in the America Online cyberscape. A two-tiered critical-hermeneutic method enables exploration of the broad rationalizing historical narrative and the localized play of virtual discursive practices impacting human meaning construction, selfhood, and social practice. A third and fourth tier of inquiry occasions integration of "psychological" meanings found in research participant experiential descriptions and interviews. This four-tier interplay reveals a bodily ethic enabling participants to modify subjectifying Internet practices toward meaningful social ends. Otherwise, eclipsed interpretive bodily powers contribute to "undecidability" about meaning constructions and identities. Despite multiple identity solicitations, normalization of objectified and schizoid being, and "panoptic" e-surveillance, participants pursued genuine and personally satisfying encounters.
Felder, A. (2004). Internet Dwelling, Cyborgs, and the Matrix of Modernity: An Empirical Inquiry with Critical-Hermeneutic Features (Doctoral dissertation, Duquesne University). Retrieved from https://dsc.duq.edu/etd/533