Cyborg Mothering

In Jocelyn Stitt & Pegeen Powell (eds.), Mothers Who Deliver: Feminist Interventions into Public and Interpersonal Discourse. SUNY Press. pp. 57-75 (2010)
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As new communication technologies transform everyday life in the 21st century, personal, family, and other social relations are transformed with it. As a way of exploring the larger question, "how exactly does communication technology transform love and how love is lived?" here I explore the cell phone, instant messaging and other communication technologies as electronic extensions of maternal bodies connecting (cyber)mother to (cyber)children. Feminist explorations of the marketing and use of cell phones, as well as other communication technologies, have largely remarked on the pernicious gender ideologies intertwined with technological innovation and application. If, however, we take seriously Haraway’s (1991) claim that postmodern humans are cyborgs, the distinction between human animals and machines breaks down in ways that invite us to revision the questions we ask about technology. Thus instead of inquiring about the oppression engendered by the production and consumption of communication technologies, here I explore the ways in which technology functions as an extension and modification of human embodiment that transforms our experiences of intimacy and our ability to create, maintain and transform loving relationships with others. More specifically, I examine cyborg mothering as transformative of loving relationships between women and children.
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