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Cyborg Anthropology and/as Endocolonisation

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Paul Virilio's 'war model' of social analysis proposed the concept of endocolonisation. The concept has two aspects: one macrosocial, wherein a war economy is carried over into peacetime, restraining potential development in civil society; the other microsocial, such that the human body is increasingly becoming a site of technology itself. Like all colonisation, endocolonisation is an emptying out, a deterritorialisation, conducted in conjunction with a technoscientific reterritorialisation which disrupts and fractalises human and social totalities, which Virilio insists should remain whole. This essay suggests that Virilio's war model of society, particularly his concept of endocolonialism, can aid in challenging a residual privileging of the economic in anthropological studies of advanced technologies and science. The relational analyses of 'cyborg anthropology' can benefit from maintaining elements of Virilio's approach to the spreading militarisation of life in modernity without accepting his foundational ontology.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: October 1, 2007

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