Saturday, October 24, 2009

SA #11: Modest_Witness@Second_Millenium

1. On p. 26, Haraway writes that "Shapin and Schaffer...were silent on the structuring and meaning of the specific civil engineering of the modest witness. They took his masculine gender for granted without much comment....the gap in their analysis seems to depend on the unexamined assumption that gender is a preformed, functionalist category, merely a question of preconstituted "generic" men and women, beings resulting from either biological or social sexual difference and playing out roles, but otherwise of no interest."

Briefly summarize what Haraway sees as the flaw in Shapin and Schaffer's account of the modest witness.

2. Haraway writes that "[g]ender is always a relationship, not a preformed category of beings or a possession that one can have" (28). As you understand it, what does Haraway mean by this?

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