Biohacking: Heroiska underdogs och (isär)skruvade martyrkroppar

Detta är en Kandidat-uppsats från Uppsala universitet/Centrum för genusvetenskap

Sammanfattning: In popular culture, the integration of mankind and technology is often a tale of experiments gone wrong. For a biohacker, however, “going wrong” is an integral part of the project to update the human body. This study takes aim at the subculture of biohacking through the lens of technology and gender. More specifically, the intersection of gender and class in masculinist and queer constructions of identity. Additionally the study examines the entanglement of risk, gender and the body in grinder practice. Transcripts from the internet forum were downloaded and relevant parts were selected. Through discourse analysis, articulations were read in relation to gender, class and the corporeal. The reader is provided with an outline of a “grinder subject”. This is identified as the a product of an cyber culture built on an ideology of DIY and freedom of information. It presumes an essence of humanity, uninformed by gender and body politics, just waiting to be hacked. Masculinist constructions of such a discourse includes an underdog “man-of-action hero” as a rebellion against established elites, and a technological martyrdom. The study informs the reader on an ongoing identification process regarding the integration of body and technology, beyond traditional spaces such as the research hospital. The study confirms well-established feminist views on discourses about the body and technology as implicitly gender marked as masculine. Additionally, a reluctance to discuss politics of the body as well as a indifferent or negative view of queer voices in such a situation. A rebellion against institutionalised bio-power might theoretically blend well with a corporeal feminist critique on gender, but is instead trumped by fear of ridicule and ambitions of mainstream acceptance. However, the study observes a a glimmer of traditionally marginalised and queer folk speaking up about their experiences within a context of grinding. This also questions the notion that discussions of the body and technology assert a binary gender system. A feminist theoretical view on grinder practices requires a analysis of the body open to scrutiny, modification and harm. In discussing “aftercare”, a collective/individual management of risk emerges as a gendered cyborg concept, and the body as an essential agent in the grinder project. This is articulated through encouragement and concern when presented with failed grinder projects.This further supports the entangling of the body and the biohacker subject as a corporeal and gendered agent. 

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