Haraway, Donna(1944-) U.S. feminist social theorist who began her career as a biologist. This background informed her subsequent work in the field of the philosophy of science. Assessing the political considerations of scientific discourse, Haraway argues that the phallocentric model of knowledge is based on domination and oppression. Following the technological horrors of late modernity (such as Aucshwitz and Hiroshima), she maintains that we need a ‘successor science’ that promotes ethical considerations above the pursuit of money and prestige. For Haraway science is reductionist because it often overlooks difference. Against this exclusionary discourse her book Simians, Cyborgs and Women: The Reinvention of Nature (1991) promotes the figure of the cyborg as a metaphor for the negotiation of difference within the scientific model. Here, the biotechnological hybrid transgresses the boundaries of the integrated subject, promoting a fluid model of identity Although Haraway critiques science, she still argues in favour of its logical methodology unlike other postmodern theorists such as Jean-Francois LYOTARD whose book The Postmodern Condition (1984) appears to relativize knowledge by showing how science is just one of many competing ‘language games’. See also CYBERCULTURE.
Collins Dictionary of Sociology, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2000