From fetuses scanned ultrasonically to computer hackers in daycare, contemporary children are increasingly rendered cyborg by their immersion in technoculture. As we are faced with reproductive choices connected directly with technologies, we often have trouble gaining perspective on our own cultural co-dependency with these very same technologies. Our notions of fetal health, maternal risk and child IQ are inseparable from them.
Cyborg Babies tracks the process of reproducing children in symbiosis with pervasive technology and offers a range of perspectives, from resistance to ethnographic analysis to science fiction. Cultural anthropologists and social critics offer cutting-edge ethnographies, critiques, and personal narratives of cyborg conceptions (sperm banks, IVF, surrogacy) and prenatal (mis)diagnosis (DES, ultrasound, amniocentesis); the technological de- and reconstruction of birth in the hospital (electronic fetal monitors, epidurals); and the effects of computer simulation games and cyborg toys and stories on children's emergent consciousness.
Contributors include Janet Isaacs Ashford, Elizabeth Cartwright, David Chamberlain, Jennifer Croissant, Charis M. Cussins, Robbie Davis-Floyd, Joseph Dumit, Eugenia Georges, Anne Hill, Mizuko Ito, Emily Martin, Steven Daniel Mentor, Janneli F. Miller, Lisa Mitchell, Lisa Jean Moore, Rayna Rapp, Matthew A. Schmidt, Syvia Sensiper, Elizabeth Roberts and Sherry Turkle.
Examining the increasing cyborgification of the American child, from conception through birth and beyond, Cyborg Babies considers its implications for human cultural and psychological evolution.
"It is a valuable addition to the vibrant literature that has sprung up around the intersection of medical anthropology, feminist studies, and science and technology studies. ...the collection is highly readable. ...eminently suitable for use in graduate and undergraduate teaching and will be indispensable reading for scholars in the many fields upon which it touches." -- Medical Anthropology Quarterly, December 1999
"This delightfully diverse collection introduces scholars to watch as it presents the possibilities for the future of our species: Will we remain humans, or become monsters?." -- Village Voice
"...fascinating collection of essays..." -- Shift