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Cyborg and identity - Essay Example

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Name: Tutor: Course: Date: Introduction In medicine, prosthesis refers to an artificial device that takes the place of a missing part of the body, which may have been lost through congenital conditions, disease or trauma. Modern bionic limbs refer to the prosthesis that are made of materials like carbon fiber and plastics, which are stronger, lighter and more realistic (TED 1)…
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Cyborg and identity
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Download file to see previous pages Discussion The relationship developed between the bionic limbs of a user and their identity is evident from the fact that they give the user a sense of being a different person – which allows them the ability to become and act like whoever they want to become. This relationship between the bionic limbs and the identities developed by their users is evident from the case of Aimee Mullins, who is known to take the roles of totally different persons; she an athlete and an artist, whenever the occasion calls for it (TED 1). From the wide spectrum of the identities that she has developed, it is evidence that her bionic limbs play a role that exceeds the functional role of allowing her to walk like the other people (Warren 38). Further, many of the users of bionic limbs are able to keep them a secret to the general public, which implies that their functionality goes beyond that of enhancing their experience of the environment, but also allowing them to identify with everybody else (Sobchack 20-22). The relationship developed between bionic limbs and the identity of the user is evident from their ability to fit into the social norm, which makes them feel like a part of the norm of having legs. The wearing of bionic limbs is viewed like an artistic replacement of the missing part of the body – which offers the user an artistic outlook and edge, besides making them appear like everybody else. This relationship of shaping the identity of the user and their impact on their identity can be traced from the conventional definition of a prosthetic, which is an object inserted or attached to the body of the user to replace a defective or missing body part (TED 1). This definition leads to the relationship between bionic limbs and the identity of the users, where, wearing these limbs is viewed like an artistic way of replacing the missing part of the body (Sobchack 20-22). The artistic replacement of the missing part of the body, apart from being imaged as the complement that makes the user an able-bodied person, it makes them fit into the social expectations of the appearance of a normal person, which makes them feel like other people. The role of bionic limbs in shaping the identity of the users is evident from the fact that the users can do things better than they could do before – and in some cases better than normal people can do – including the ability to run faster and riding bikes. The new person with better abilities and in some cases, abilities that exceed those of ordinary people becomes the new identity of the user of bionic limbs (Warren 39). This ability to change roles from a disabled to a fully capable person contributes to the development of their new identity, which points out the integral relationship between bionic limbs and the identity of the user. This relationship is evident from the life of Aimee Mullins, whose lower legs were removed after birth, but she has matured to become a star in the Paralympics through the use of her bionic limbs. For example, as a Paralympics champion, her identity is developed around her use of bionic limbs, and without them, she may never become that star again. Further, her ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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