This is a research paper which will investigate the relationship between architectural space, i.e. the home, the work place, the gendered body, in relation to the cyber-body as utopian space or new mechanism of containment and surveillance and re-inscribing of the dominant capitalist ideology. Through cyberspace the body in transformation, due to the potential of liberation from of constraints of gendered identity, via the architecture of the immaterial, i.e. the internet is often proposed. As Coyne writes, many of Heidegger's pragmatic philosophical views were transformations of “enlightenment notions such as identity, proximity, community, disembodiment….to the phenomenological concepts of Dasein, care, being-with, …praxis….the not-yet surveyed.” (Coyne: 338) In Coyne's estimation IT utopianism is a similar process, the Enlightenment notion of progress mapped onto the “quest for a better world through information.” (Coyne: 338) Is this utopian possible? What does it mean to transgress gender roles and identities?
[...] Is the ability to imagine oneself on line as a totally different person a liberating process, or does it feed into the hegemonic structure of desire for that which we cannot have, seen by critics of capitalism as a component of its effective ideological operation and containment of resistance into consumer based identities? (Berger, 1979) Gender/sex roles are socially constructed in the sense that certain attributes are accorded to bodies in space masculine or feminine roles, and the separation of or division of gender in architectural spaces (the home, the workplace). [...]
[...] (Spivak, 1979) Discussions of the meaning of sexuality and gender roles is one way in which both the hegemonic voice frames, and the counter-hegemonic resists. This brings us back to the question, again of whether sexual identities and gender identities are open to transformation and resistance to patriarchy through play in cyberspace, and how this will implicate architectural possibilities of remaking of self and community. Can the internet become a site of mapping the intimate terrain of the body, the architecture of the self, and as such, override the gaze of the material-cultural institutional nexus of globalization and the corporatization of the internet? [...]
[...] Perhaps the key to a better way to analyze the architecture of dematerialization in cyberspace is to forge the interlocking grid of analysis of both sides together, weaving in a sophisticated mesh of critical theory that as in literature can apply post- discourses to any number or variety or type of text to extract meaning. If the city seems composed of vertical and horizontal grids that contain us and confine our movements to set and fixed boundaries of public and private space, the internet is a prismatic field of intersecting, colliding diagonals and parallel universes; seemingly infinite space contained in the screen, accessed through telephone lines and increasingly, fiber optic cables, There is an increasing ability to transcend space and time in an immediacy that is connected to visual and tactile acuity. [...]
[...] In describing Second Life he evokes a sense of how the site operates, man spends his days as a tiny chipmunk, elf, or voluptuous woman. Another lives as a child and two other persons agree to be his virtual parents. Two “real life sisters living hundreds of miles apart meet every day to play games together or shop for new shoes for their avatars. The person making the shoes has quit his ‘real' job because he is making over five thousands U. [...]
[...] Other kinds of sociological studies, such as Zhao's (2008) exploration of gender in more open identity sites like Facebook, a social networking site, where gender roles are more parallel to the ‘real' world, with communication and networking assuming a number of different contexts, the goals are an enhancement of the real world architectures from intellectual, friendship needs, to marketing goals. Thus, the Internet is a repository, a kind of architecture of infinite possible texts uploaded and downloaded for numerous purposes. [...]
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