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Cyborgs

  • By: Magdalena Petersson McIntyre
  • In: Encyclopedia of Consumer Culture
  • Edited by: Dale Southerton
  • Subject:Sociology of Consumption, Consumer Psychology, Consumer Culture

A cyborg is an organism that is part flesh, part artificial, and a popular character of science fiction. Well-known examples are Arnold Schwarzenegger's flesh-covered robot Terminator, the Frankenstein creature, and the androids of Blade Runner. The cyborg has often been used as a metaphor to point to potential risks involved in letting machines take over human functions. They have visually embodied the unknown future and have been used to symbolize transformations of different kinds. Intrigued by such transformatory characteristics, cultural theorists have turned to the symbolic values of the cyborg figure. The uncertainties surrounding this figure have been used to question concepts of human and nonhuman. The cyborg—caught in between culture and nature—doesn't necessarily have to deal with the social orders of our time and ...

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