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Simians, Cyborgs, and Women: The Reinvention of Nature Paperback – December 12, 1990

ISBN-13: 978-0415903875 ISBN-10: 0415903874 Edition: 0th

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Paperback, December 12, 1990
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 312 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge (December 12, 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415903874
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415903875
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.2 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #301,660 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Scholars of modern feminist theory, particularly of perspectives on science (notably biology) and how they relate to perceptions of human culture, will appreciate these 10 essays by science historian Haraway ( Primate Visions ), adapted from articles published between 1978 and 1989. They chart a shift in her standpoint during this period: the earliest works reflect a Marxist analytical influence (as befits "a proper, US socialist-feminist" of the '70s), while the later ones also show the influence of post-modernism. "Animal Sociology and a Natural Economy of the Body Politic" surveys primatology research of the 1930s and '40s to explore how the "principle of domination" is embedded in some scientific thought. "Gender for a Marxist Dictionary," in which Haraway develops a definition for the word "gender," highlights the difficulty of reducing complex concepts to keywords. "The Biopolitics of Postmodern Bodies" views the "biomedical, biotechnical" self, incorporating modern discourse on the immunological system; bodies, like gender, she contends, "are not born; they are made" as biomedical constructs. Illustrated.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

One of the founders of the posthumanities, Donna J. Haraway is professor in the History of Consciousness program at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Author of many books and widely read essays, including The Companion Species Manifesto: Dogs, People, and Significant Otherness and the now-classic essay "The Cyborg Manifesto," she received the J.D. Bernal Prize in 2000, a lifetime achievement award from the Society for Social Studies in Science.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Oli Fabulous on September 9, 2004
Format: Paperback
Donna Haraway's work in this collection continues to amaze me. Her intense critical engagement with the history of science is resolutely brilliant: she takes common conceptions of the body, objectivity, power, and 'nature' and pulls the rug of patriarchal metaphysics out from under them. These essays are concerned with unravelling origins myths, pointing out the pitfalls of political innocence, deconstructing our conceptions of the natural and the artefactual--you know, the usual. Her project is immense, but the she hones her points in each essay very well with dazzlingly astute political analyses and characteristic poetic phrases. If you're interested in oppositional antiracist feminist consciousness, Haraway's yr philosopher.
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By LM on March 10, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
In some parts, groundbreaking. In others, a bit longwinded and roaming. But that's Haraway's work in general. She'll blow your mind and make you sigh in boredom in turns.
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16 of 65 people found the following review helpful By Christine Kovac on March 27, 2003
Format: Paperback
Christine Kovac
Sociology 248
Book Review #3
March 26, 2003
Simians, Cyborgs, and Women The Reinvention of Nature
How did nature come about? Did it happen over night or was it a process that happened gradually over time? Donna Haraway, in a complex manner, addresses this issue in her book with a feminist perspective as she analyzes historical narratives, accounts, and stories about the creation of nature. She looks at several theories of famous theorists including Darwin's evolutionary theory, social constructionism, and Freud's body politic in order to justify her argument throughout the book.
Haraway believes and argues with insightful information that everything that exists is a form of construction in which one thing leads to the development of another and so on. She specifically targets women throughout her book when supporting her argument. For example,
"Teaching in women's studies classrooms is a historically specific activity. Such
teaching inherits, constructs, and transmits particular reading and writing practices that are politically complex. These material practices are part of the apparatus for producing what will count as `experience' on personal and collective levels in women's movement. It is crucial to be accountable for the politics of experience in the institution of women's studies. ......Women do not find `experience' ready to hand any more than they/we find `nature' or the `body' performed, always innocent and waiting outside the violations of language and culture" (Haraway, 109).
This particular situation is not an obvious feature when it comes to looking at the method of women's movement. It is the experience that women obtain which enables them to move forward in women's movement.
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17 of 90 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 7, 2003
Format: Paperback
Rur Soc 248
3/30/03
Book Club # 3
Simians, Cyborgs, and Women written by Donna J. Haraway is a compilation of ten essays from 1978 through 1989 that focus on the idea that nature is constructed, not discovered, and truth is made, not found. Donna J. Haraway is a science historian and Professor at the University of California, Santa Cruz. She explains her ideas in this book through a strong feminist viewpoint.
Haraway divides her book into three sections, each section addressing different topics. The first section of the book discusses feminist struggles of developing knowledge and behavior in the social lives of monkeys and apes. The second part of the book discusses contests for the power to determine stories about nature and experience. The last part of the book discusses the cyborg embodiment and the fate of feminist concepts of gender, feminist ethics and even discusses the immune system as a biopolitical map of the chief system of difference in a postmodern world.
My opinions on this book are very one sided. I did not enjoy reading it at all. I thought that the book was very difficult to read. The book had a great deal of words in it that I have never seen before. I found myself constantly looking to a dictionary just so I could get the message behind what Haraway was trying to relay. One of the other reasons that the book was difficult to read was because it talked about many theories and ideas that I have never heard about before. This would have not been a big issue if the theories had explained more before they were used in proving Haraway's arguments. A direct example of this is when Haraway uses the theories that Zuckerman and Rowell have about reproduction.
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14 of 96 people found the following review helpful By Kevin Butler on November 1, 2003
Format: Paperback
"Simians, Cyborgs, and Women" sounds as if it might be interesting to discuss the connections between the three conceps upon first glance. Feel free to read the opening portions of the book. They are representative of the majority of the book. If you are well-versed in fanatical feminist theories - and, more importantly, agree wholeheartedly with them - then you will enjoy the book immensely. On the other hand, if you are expecting a healthy discussion of the basis of, rationale for, and definitions of feminist theories, look elsewhere. The book is rife with shakey feminist theories which serve as premises to even still more outrageous conclusions, without any attempt to justify the premises themselves. As a result, it ends up a house of cards, without a strong foundation, puffed up far more than it ever should. I would have been more interested in seeing a well-structured analysis of the views underlying the arguments she makes. Alas, a search for such an analysis was in vain.
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