Online Life and Online Bodies

Online Life and Online Bodies

Jonathan Marshall (University of Technology Sydney, Australia)
Copyright: © 2006 |Pages: 6
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-815-4.ch149
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Bodies are often claimed to be irrelevant to online activity. Online space, or activity, is frequently described as if disembodied, and often this absence of visible bodies is said to contribute to freedom from social pressures around gender, race, and body type (Reid, 1996). However, without bodies, people could not access the Internet, and online there are continual references, directly and indirectly, to bodies, so the term disembodied references a particular type of “ghost” body. Therefore, rather than accepting ideas that naturalise dislocating life online from bodies, it is necessary to explore the situations in which this occurs. Another commonly used body metaphor is the cyborg: the melding of human with machine. In both cases, the body is usually taken as underlying what is happening and as a referent for authenticity.

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